Merkel: EU will retaliate against Trump tariffs

Merkel: EU will retaliate against Trump tariffs

German Chancellor Angela Merkel looks towards US President Donald Trump, who arrived late for the Gender Equality Advisory Council working breakfast on the second day of the G7 Summit on June 9, 2018 in Quebec City, Canada.

President Trump is downplaying the media's reaction to the viral photo of the G-7 summit that showed him surrounded by other leaders.

In recent weeks, trading partners of the USA have criticised new tariffs on steel and aluminium imports imposed by the Trump administration.

In an in-depth interview with German broadcaster ARD, she said that the European Union would follow in the footsteps of Canada and come up with counter-measures to levy tariffs on the 28-member bloc. "I'd even wish for that to happen - that two presidents meet for an extended period of time".

From left, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, and Trump.

"For today, I think it's much more important to convince our American partners to strengthen our format as guarantor of world order, than to look for something new, more challenging, more hard", EU President Donald Tusk said Friday.

Nearly 18 months into Trump's presidency, Merkel's comments offered renewed evidence of Germany's struggle to adapt to an upended relationship with the US.

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After leaving the summit Saturday, Trump announced that the US was pulling back its endorsement of the G7 communique in part because of what he called "false statements" at a news conference by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

"The withdrawal, so to speak, via a Tweet, is of course... sobering and a bit depressing", Merkel said in a television interview after the summit. But she repeated that Europe could no longer rely on its ally and should take its fate into its own hands. "Sometimes it seems the American president thinks that only one side wins and everyone else loses".

A German finance ministry spokesman said: "We have made significant progress with our French friends towards a reform proposal for the euro zone and we will continue our talks next week".

But it won't solve the differences, particularly on trade, with the European Union moving toward retaliatory tariffs from July on key US goods.

"The situation isn't very nice", Merkel said. She said that she still believes Trump shares the principled stance of the G7 on "many issues".

But it's Merkel's that's undoubtedly the most striking.

"Sometimes, you just have to weather a dry spell", Merkel said.

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