President Donald Trump has reportedly reignited tensions with his EU counterparts in the latest leg of his international tour after calling the Germans “very bad” for their trade surplus with the U.S.
The president vowed to block German car exports to the U.S. during a meeting with top EU leaders on Thursday, according to reports from German news magazine Der Spiegel. “The Germans are bad, very bad,” President Trump said, according to participants in the room who spoke to Der Spiegel. “See the millions of cars they sell in the U.S., terrible. We will stop this.”
The comments were said to have been made in a meeting with the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the European Council President Donald Tusk who both showed support for Germany. The White House was not available for comment when contacted by the media However, Juncker dismissed the claims on Friday, saying that the German reports were exaggerated.
Trump has long voiced his frustrations with Germany’s trade surplus with the U.S., insisting that German imports have damaged the U.S. manufacturing industry. In January, he threatened to slap a 35 percent tax on German auto imports. He also attempted to negotiate a bilateral trade deal with Germany when he met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in March. However, she insisted that all deals with EU member countries must be made multilaterally.
President Trump’s latest comments come as part of wider discussions with the EU and other world leaders on trade, defense and the environment. On Friday, he continues his international tour, meeting in Sicily with G7 leaders, where international trade will be at the forefront of the agenda.
Trump’s comments could mean that a potential trade war is still on the cards. The market doesn’t like this. USDJPY fall as sentiment worsens and USDJPY breaks below 111.00. A break below the short-term trendline could mean that a fall towards 110.00 is on the cards.