TEHRAN, May 30, YJC - President Donald Trump has lashed out at Germany once again over its large trade surplus with the United States and its low contributions to NATO.
TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -
"We have a MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay FAR LESS than they should on NATO & military. Very bad for US. This will change," Trump wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.
The message came minutes after German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a joint press conference in Berlin, during which the German leader called India a "reliable partner with respect to big projects.”
This is while Merkel suggested Monday that Germany and other European countries could no longer rely on the US under Trump's presidency.
"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 told an election rally in Munich, stressing that "Europe must become a player active in international affairs."
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel was even blunter, saying Trump’s "short-sighted" policies have "weakened the West" and hurt European interests.
Relations between Germany and the US have cooled since Trump took office in January. His administration has previously accused Germany of manipulating the euro, creating a trade surplus with the US.
Germany has argued that it does not have powers to manipulate the euro and consumers are simply drawn to its products because of their high quality.
Trump concluded his first official tour abroad on Sunday, which took him to Saudi Arabia, Israeli-occupied territories, Belgium and Italy for a G7 summit.
During his maiden trip, Trump snubbed pressure from G7 allies to uphold the 2015 Paris climate accord and scolded 23 of NATO's 28 members -- including Germany -- for failing to live up to their commitment to spend 2 percent of their GDP on the alliance.
"This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States and many of these nations owe massive amounts of money from past years. And not paying in those past years,” Trump said at a NATO summit in Brussels.
Trump also frustrated European leaders by saying he needed more time to decide if the US would continue backing the Paris climate agreement, designed to tackle climate change.
Merkel expressed her dismay at Washington's reluctance to back the landmark accord.
"The entire discussion about climate was very difficult, if not to say very dissatisfying," Merkel said over the weekend. "There are no indications whether the United States will stay in the Paris agreement or not."
The Paris Agreement entered into force on November 4, 2016 and has been signed by 197 countries, of which 147 have now formally ratified it. Together, these countries represent more than 75 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.