Washington — near the end of his extremely formal, absolutely impersonal press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the President of trump finally said that between him and his guest have something in common: according to him, former President Barack Obama listened to them both.
On the face of Ms. Merkel flashed subtle surprise, and she pretended that lurks their records. She smiled slightly and said nothing as if she just decided not to participate in the political dramas of Mr. trump.
The impression that the first personal interaction with Mr. trump with Ms. Merkel, which took place on Friday, March 17, was a rather awkward meeting, which had been intensely watched by the whole world and which has acquired excessive symbolic value: the great destroyer was found with the last defender of a liberal world order.
Mr. trump and Ms. Merkel, whose management styles and policies are diametrically opposed, decided to demonstrate their willingness to cooperate, standing next in the East room of the White house. However, they failed to disguise the Gulf that separates them in matters of trade, immigration and a host of other complex issues.
“All people are different, said Ms. Merkel, when asked to comment on the style of Mr. trump. — It is sometimes difficult to find compromises, but that’s why we were chosen. If there were no problems, politicians would be simply not necessary.”
Mr. trump, who in the course of the campaign has positioned itself as opposed to the traditional politicians, he smiled, hearing those words. It was one of the few smiles that appeared during a press conference during which he demanded that the US allies in NATO returned to America, “the huge sums of money spent her over the years,” and promised that Germany will no longer be able to relegate the U.S. to second place in negotiations on trade agreements.
“Now I can say that the delegates of Germany is much better at my job than delegates to the United States — said Mr. trump. — However, we hope we will be able to fix this.”
Ms. Merkel said that in fact, Germany does not conduct its own negotiations with the United States on the trade agreements. As an EU member, it has delegated this responsibility to Brussels. As for NATO, she noted that Germany has decided to increase defense spending, but added that the Alliance has and other missions. Such as security and development in Africa.
Ms. Merkel made a conscious effort not to become the enemy of Mr. trump. She was critical of the attempts of some of her compatriots to present it as a defender against his populist movement. During his election campaign, Mr. trump has sharply criticized Ms. Merkel for what she took refugee in Germany, but after his taking office, his rhetoric has become more moderate. The program of visit of German Chancellor to the White house included the entire list of events, including a meeting in the oval office, lunch and a round table with participation of heads of major companies in America and Germany.
However, both leaders continued to defend their positions. At this time, Mr. trump has gone a little further than before in his statements regarding the necessity to share the financial burden among NATO members. He demanded that the members of the Alliance not just increased defense spending, but reimburse US those costs that America assumed before.
“Many countries owe us huge amounts of money over the years and it is very unfair to US, he said. — These countries are obliged to return to us what they need”.
Mr. trump also said that, in his opinion, Germany, like China and other trading partners have used US. “This is not well reflected in our workers,” he said, adding that they were “lied to”. The President noted that his approach “America first” gradually reverses this trend, restoring plants in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and other States who have lost jobs to other countries.
Though Mr. trump didn’t mention his decree forbidding citizens from six Muslim countries to enter the territory of the United States, he stressed that “immigration is a privilege, not a right, and the safety of our citizens must always come first”.
Ms. Merkel presented their views on “unbiased” globalization. According to her, refugees should have the opportunity to improve their lives, partly to stabilize their country and not allow them to slip into civil war. She stressed that freedom of movement is one of the main achievements and benefits of the European Union. According to her, the success of Germany is inextricably linked with the success of the European Union.
“I am profoundly convinced, — said Ms. Merkel. — And I say this not just at home. I say this in the US and here in Washington, during talks with the President.”
Mr. trump is outspoken about the need to dissolve the EU. The January meeting with the Prime Minister and Theresa may (Theresa May), which is now preparing to exit the United Kingdom from the European Union, was held in a considerably warmer atmosphere than his meeting with Ms. Merkel, though she was held to a diplomatic quarrel between the United States and Britain because of the statement Mr. trump that British intelligence was involved in the wiretapping of trump Tower.
Ms. Merkel, who doesn’t show his emotions, never wanted to shake hands, Mr. Trump, as did Ms. may (Ms. Merkel was amazed when President George Bush decided as a joke to throw her an impromptu massage during the summit in 2006). However, Ms. Merkel, who is in power for 11 years, has a large experience of interaction with the impulsive leaders, from Silvio Berlusconi to Vladimir Putin. She had prepared for this meeting by reading the speech of Mr. trump and viewing videos of his performances. And she looked quite calm, despite the fact that the President allowed himself to deviate much from the script.
To convince Mr. trump that trade with Germany would bring the American workers favor, Ms. Merkel brought with him a delegation of heads of major companies, including BMW, Siemens and other companies that are active in the United States.
Mr. trump, accompanied by the heads of U.S. companies such as Dow Chemical, IBM, and Salesforce.com used a round table to promote the idea of industrial practice — a philosophy of vocational training, which has been successfully used in Germany and which German companies want to move to America.
Despite their differences, the leaders of the US and Germany once again stated that their countries should continue to seek ways to preserve dialogue. Hinting at the taunts of Mr. trump in her address and the suggestion that she should experience him the same way, Ms. Merkel said, “I have always said that it is much better to continue to talk with each other and not about each other”.
However, it is still unable to resist barbs with Mr. trump. Historically, she said, the Germans were much more wary of the transatlantic trade agreements than the Americans. But after the election, Mr. trump with his rejection of the principles of free trade, the Germans became much more sympathetic to such transactions.
Looking at Mr. trump, she said: “I am very pleased to note that views on this question have changed a little, at least in Germany”.