German Chancellor Angela Merkel called President Donald Trump’s “withdrawal via Twitter” from the agreed-upon joint G-7 communiqué, which was co-authored by every member of the Group of Seven, “of course sobering and a little depressing” in an interview following the summit.
“The situation isn’t very nice,” Merkel said. “I don’t think that ratcheting up the rhetoric is going to improve things.”
Trump announced in tweets following his early departure from the summit that he would refuse to sign the communiqué as a result of press conference comments by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. But Trudeau had simply reiterated points he’d made before: that Canada planned dollar-for-dollar retaliatory tariffs in response to Trump’s new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.
Trump advisers Larry Kudlow and Peter Navarro nonetheless toed the presidential line, savaging Trudeau in Sunday show appearances over what Kudlow acknowledged were “things that the prime minister has said before, basically.”
“There are still good reasons to fight for the trans-Atlantic partnership,” Merkel said Sunday, hedging that the European Union shouldn’t “imprudently” follow the United States.
“We won’t let ourselves be ripped off again and again,” she said, referring to the new American tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. “Instead, we act then too.”
Merkel described the joint communiqué Trump refused to sign, despite America’s co-authorship, as “arduously negotiated.”
Citing Trump’s withdrawals from the Paris climate agreement and the Iran nuclear deal, German Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas said Sunday that Trump’s withdrawal from the summit communiqué was “actually not a real surprise.”
“We have seen this with the climate agreement or the Iran deal,” he said.