International

Trump lashes out at Germany over trade and NATO

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday to complain about a US trade deficit with Germany and his belief that the country must pay more for the NATO military alliance.

“We have a MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay FAR LESS than they should on NATO & military,” he wrote. “Very bad for U.S. This will change.”

The tweet follows a volley of criticism from Germany after the president concluded his first official tour abroad on Sunday, returning from Saudi Arabia, Israel, Brussels and then Italy for a G7 summit.

READ MORE: Trump trip leaves US and allies lost in translation

In Berlin on Sunday, Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that the United States and Britain may no longer be completely reliable partners.

“Transatlantic ties are of paramount importance to us… but the current situation gives more reasons for… us to take our destiny in our own hands,” Merkel said, stressing that “Europe must become a player active in international affairs.”

ALSO READ: Donald Trump has ‘weakened’ the West, hurt EU interests: German FM

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel was blunter on Monday, slamming the US president’s “short-sighted” policies that have “weakened the West” and hurt European interests.

During his trip, Trump snubbed pressure from G7 allies to sign up to upholding the 2015 Paris climate accord and berated 23 of NATO’s 28 members — including Germany — for “still not paying what they should be paying” toward the funding of the alliance.

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