Merkel: EU will retaliate against Trump tariffs

Saul Bowman
June 13, 2018

Out of all the official photos surfacing from the 2018 G7 Summit, there's one in particular posted on German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Instagram that's copping a lot of attention.

Despite tensions over Trump's intended trade tariffs the USA and its G7 allies had put on an apparent show of unity at the end of the tense summit.

Canada's Justin Trudeau and other leaders had given closing press conferences and announced a US-backed joint statement.

Merkel said she first found out about Trump's decision on the flight back from Canada. It shows a standing Merkel, hands firmly planted on a table, staring down at President Donald Trump, who is seated with his arms folded.

"You can destroy an incredible amount of trust very quickly in a tweet", he said.

Europe will not let Trump do "whatever he pleases", the German chancellor said, adding that "we will not allow ourselves to be deceived again and again". But it won't solve the differences, particularly on trade, with the European Union moving toward retaliatory tariffs from July on key US goods. National Security Adviser John Bolton and other aides also look on what appears to be a tense moment.

Like Canada, the European Union is preparing counter-measures against us tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, in line with World Trade Organisation rules, Merkel said.

A German finance ministry spokesman said: "We have made significant progress with our French friends towards a reform proposal for the euro zone and we will continue our talks next week".

Other G-7 countries lobbied unsuccessfully at the summit for the reverse its tariffs on imported steel and aluminum imports. "After a long day of work and very direct dialogue, we are actively seeking an ambitious agreement", an English translation of Macron's tweet reads.

"There are still good reasons to continue our fight [aimed at keeping close transatlantic partnership], even though we can not just rely on it anymore", she added.

The 28-member bloc - soon to lose the United Kingdom after the 2016 referendum to exit the European Union - managed to grapple with a financial meltdown and the biggest influx of refugees since World War II only with "great effort", Merkel said.

Despite Mr Trump's actions, the UK, France and Germany have insisted they will stand by the commitments made at the summit.

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