News ID: 216531
Published: 0159 GMT June 11, 2018

Germany, first battlefield of US trade dispute

Germany, first battlefield of US trade dispute

By Hossein Ziaee*

Almost nobody could have ever imagined that US President Donald Trump would unveil his trade war, particularly with Washington’s European trade partners, so rapidly in the he 44th G7 Summit in Canada. 

Hence, June 9 was turned into Europe’s “Dark Saturday.” The day that the Green Continent lost its hopes to avert a destructive trade war with the US.

Meanwhile, evidence suggests that Trump is still considering Germany, which is Europe’s largest economy, as the first battlefield of his trade dispute. This as the Republican billionaire has targeted Germany’s auto and construction industries with tariffs.

The US president recently said these industries are not valuable for his country, which drew the anger of German trade officials. That’s why Germany’s major automaker, BMW, and its major construction firm, Würth, announced that they are holding talks to relocate their factories and transfer their capital from the US to Mexico and Canada.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel shared a photo of her tenaciously staring down  Trump during the G7 Summit. The image which alludes to the climax of tension indicates a serious rift between the US and Germany.

Irrespective of the trade war with Berlin, Trump has targeted all foreign policy achievements of the EU and Germany. These achievements include the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear deal. Trump has also mocked Germany’s role as Europe’s largest economy by appointing Richard Grenell as the US ambassador to Berlin. Grenell has been accused of intervening in European politics due to his controversial remarks in support of right-wing political movements in Europe.

German political experts believe Trump’s presidency has ended the Berlin-Washington honeymoon. They say that lack of strict countermeasures against the US would embolden Trumpism and Trump’s belligerent approach toward the security and economic interests of the EU, particularly those of Germany.

In other words, Trump’s irresponsible decisions have created a sort of political awakening in Europe against him which is gaining momentum.

Europe and Germany’s global partners have placed their hopes on Berlin to adopt a coherent and unified strategy against Trump.

Analysts believe that unless the EU conveys a “unified no” to Washington, it will have to be bound by Trump’s irresponsible and destructive game, which is aimed at achieving the “America First” policy.

Germany should take the first step in this regard. Berlin is able to help the world get rid of Trump’s childish and irresponsible behavior through promoting a multilateral global system and making efforts to get Russia and China closer to Europe.

*Hossein Ziaee is an Iranian journalist in Germany.


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