0911 GMT February 15, 2019
Die Welt, a German national daily newspaper, carried the front-page headline titled, “Trump’s trade war against Germany” in its Thursday edition.
The paper also presented a big caricature of Trump depicting him as one who was destroying Germany’s industrial and trade centers with his hands.
The coverage was a response to tariffs imposed by the Trump administration on imports of steel and aluminum which target Germany among other countries.
In her first speech after forming a new coalition government, Angela Merkel strongly criticized Trump for introducing the tariffs saying the “trade war” will have no winner.
The White House’s move to slap levies on imports of the key metals will impact all US trade partners, including Japan and China. Nonetheless, Germany, as a leading exporter in the world, is the main target of the controversial move.
Official German data showed that the country’s global trade surplus was 245 billion euros in 2017. Germany has overtaken China, the US and Japan for several consecutive years emerging as the world’ top exporter.
Since Trump assumed office in January 2017, he has placed retaliatory measures against Germany on the agenda.
The Republican US president has formally demanded that Germany reduce its exports to the US, increase its imports from America, and boost NATO’s military budget.
Presently, Trump has waged a trade war against the global free trade system by imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports which is in line with his “America First” policy.
While US allies are falling victim to Trump’s policies, this time it is Germany that has been targeted.
Analysts believe that an international consensus must be achieved against Trump’s adventurous “America First” policy. This can be realized through practical measures by the European Union, particularly Germany.
An aggressor country will stick to its policies as long as it faces no fierce global opposition. Now, the question is whether Berlin is ready to stand against Washington’s excessive demands.
*Hossein Ziaee is an Iranian journalist based in Germany.