Trump, Germany’s Merkel clash over trade, NATO and ‘Western values’

Germany and the U.S. emerged from Memorial Day weekend in a war of words, as Chancellor Angela Merkel and her coalition partners attacked America’s reliability as a world power and President Trump fired back on Twitter.

Merkel said at a beer tent rally in Munich Sunday that Germany cannot “fully rely” on the U.S., and that continental Europe “really must take our fate into our own hands.”

Martin Schultz, head of Gemany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD), which is Merkel’s coalition partner in the federal government, went further, calling Trump a “destroyer of all Western values.”

“The chancellor represents all of us at summits [NATO and G7] like these,” said Schultz, seen as a challenger to Merkel in the upcoming September election. “I reject with outrage the way this man takes it upon himself to treat the head of our country’s government.”

Trump countered on Tuesday, renewing his allegation Germany doesn’t pay its full, 2 percent of GDP share toward defense — a requirement of NATO membership. He also rapped the European economic powerhouse for its trade policies.

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

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