A day after the G7 summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel hit back at President Donald Trump’s tariffs. In an in-depth interview with German broadcaster ARD, she said that the EU would follow in the footsteps of Canada and come up with counter-measures to levy tariffs on the 28-member bloc.
“We won’t allow ourselves be ripped off again and again. We will act too,” she said.
Merkel said that Trump would probably retaliate by implementing new tariffs on German vehicles.
“We will try to see if we can stop this from happening… And then hopefully the EU will respond again in the same unified way,” she said, as reported by South China Morning Post.
Merkel’s comments came amid the escalating fallout from a contentious meeting between Trump and other world leaders at the recently concluded Group of Seven (G7) Summit in Canada.
President Trump left the meeting half-way, warning the G7 nations that if they don’t remove trade barriers with the U.S., they will face consequences.
On Saturday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had a fallout with Trump when he held a press conference after the latter departed Quebec to attend the North Korea summit in Singapore.
Trudeau, who announced that the G7 had issued a joint communique, had to suffer the wrath of Trump. The president, en route to Singapore, lashed out at the Canadian leader via Twitter, stating that the U.S. will not endorse the communique.
His comment sparked a new diplomatic spat between Trudeau and the Trump administration and led Chancellor Merkel to criticize Trump’s handling of the matter.
“The withdrawal by tweet is, of course, sobering and a bit depressing,” she said.
She also spoke about Trump’s suggestion to re-admit Russia to the group. Russia was booted after its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. While she could imagine such a scenario in the future, Moscow would first have to make real progress on a viable peace plan for the country, she said.
Meanwhile, on Twitter, a top EU official trolled President Trump by posting the viral image of Merkel.
Guy Verhofstaft, the EU parliament’s representative in Brexit negotiations and former prime minister of Belgium, shared a photo of Merkel staring down President Trump during a meeting at the G7 summit.
The caption on the photo read: “Just tell us what Vladimir has on you,” Verhofstadt wrote. “Maybe we can help.”
Trump, during the summit, insisted that Russia should be a part of the group, leaving many to wonder why the U.S. president is going out of his way to include Vladimir Putin in the group.