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MoneyTrump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance

16:30  20 august  2019
16:30  20 august  2019 Source:   msn.com

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Trump Is Coming for Europe ’ s Most Important Alliance . While French officials say they don’t favor Russia’s return until those issues are resolved, amid continued international sanctions on Moscow, the Kremlin will regard the invitation to the South of France as a victory, he said.

Mr. Trump ’ s disparagement of Europe and the alliance has become almost routine, leaving some veteran diplomats aghast. Last week, Jim Melville, the United States ambassador to Estonia, told friends and colleagues that he would resign at the end of this month after more than 30 years in the

Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance © Bloomberg Germany's Chancellor Merkel And France's President Macron Host Balkans Summit

In the end, they papered over the cracks.

After months of increasingly acrimonious sniping, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel set aside some of their differences last month, pushing through a deal on the next head of the European Commission. The rapprochement arrived just in time, with Donald Trump coming to Europe this week for the Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France.

The US president has a knack for finding the pressure points in the Franco-German relationship and has been looking to drive a wedge between the two leaders as he turns his focus toward the US’s terms of trade with Europe.

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Trump ’ s controversial tour through Europe has turned postwar western relations inside out, the president sparring with Nato leaders in Brussels and blasting May’ s Brexit In the past week Trump has been sowing discord in Europe and undermining the traditional alliances : these are all objectives

NEW YORK — Europe ’ s political class has been waiting for the U.S. midterm elections. to hope the Democratic Party will make significant gains and put the Continent’ s most important alliance back on track. Europeans need to come to terms with the unpalatable reality that Trump is here to stay

“Trade is a risk in their relationship,” said Enrico Letta, the former Italian prime minister who has worked with both Merkel and Macron. “France as a country has protectionist tendencies. Germany relies far more on industrial exports, and is keen to defend them. It’s another asymmetrical situation.”

European Union diplomats fear that once Trump has rammed through a trade deal with China, he will turn his attention to Europe. While trade isn’t on the G-7 agenda, it’ll come up in one-on-one meetings if the president’s recent rhetoric is any guide.

At a fundraiser in the Hamptons this month, Trump raised the prospect of imposing 100% tariffs on French wine, according to two people familiar with the conversation.

The US Trade Representative is also completing a probe into a French tax on internet giants like Google and Facebook that could pave the way for retaliatory tariffs, while the EU is braced for the World Trade Organisation to give a green light for US tariffs on up to $7 billion (£5.8bn) of EU goods after a ruling on illegal aircraft subsidies.

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Donald Trump is bringing his show to Europe . And it is bound to make headlines. On Wednesday, the US president will be in Brussels for the NATO summit, where he will likely continue to ruffle feathers. Here are Trump ' s most memorable quotes about the military alliance , even if they are at times false.

Most notably, they included George Bush’ s illegal invasion of Iraq and the Guantanamo Bay horrors plus Barack Obama’ s drone wars and his ill-fated TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) It is the most important partner for negotiations.” And this last point is important .

“The European Union is worse than China, just smaller,” Trump said at a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, last week. “It treats us horribly: barriers, tariffs, taxes—and we let them come in.”

The prospect of a fully blown trade war is already sowing distrust between Berlin and Paris.

The problem is that Trump’s demands are causing most resistance in France, and he’s mainly threatening punishment for Germany.

Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance © Bloomberg President Trump Holds Rally In New Hampshire

The US wants more access to Europe’s agricultural markets—a red line for the French—and the president is mulling tariffs on cars, the backbone of the German economy, unless he gets it.

So Merkel’s aides are watching the French president nervously.

German officials already feel that Macron has been playing a double game on trade.

France, along with its allies, persuaded Germany to keep agriculture out of the EU’s trade talks with the US in April but still cast a symbolic vote against opening trade talks.

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Europe seems prepared to push back in more dramatic ways against what many leaders now see as a unilateral U.S Trump is threatening Europe ’ s foreign-policy sovereignty, said former Swedish The blowup over Iran comes just as Europe and the United States face a possible trade war within weeks.

NATO -- Frustration with the most important defense alliance -- Trump has teased upending the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance , which was created to counterbalance the Soviet Union and is one of the oldest and most important alliances the US takes part in.

Such a blatant sop to rural voters at home on an issue so vital to Germany greatly annoyed Merkel. She’s not convinced she can rely on Macron on trade, according to a person familiar with her thinking.

The policy differences mirror the contrasting backgrounds of the two leaders.

One is the 65-year-old daughter of a pastor who grew up in communist East Germany, the other a child prodigy who was writing plays at age 15. She’s cautious, he moves fast. He likes grand declarations, she works behind the scenes.

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Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance
Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance

At the October 2017 Frankfurt book fair, Macron gave a sweeping talk about the French 20th century philosopher Paul Ricoeur. When he was done, Merkel said “I didn’t understand what you said, but it sounded so beautiful.” She then launched into a discussion of the intricacies of German copyright rules.

And yet when Macron came to power it looked at first like they might strike up a truly effective partnership—the previous three occupants of the Elysee Palace had failed to deliver the sort of reforms Germany has been hoping for.

Macron promised a long-overdue modernisation of the French economy and, in exchange, he bet that Merkel would persuade German skeptics to accept greater financial integration of the euro zone. Both sides quickly wound up disappointed.

Macron’s advisers say he hoped Merkel would show greater courage after more than a decade in power. But they also recognise both sides were unlucky with the timing.

Germany’s inconclusive September 2017 elections touched off months of political gridlock and eventually left the chancellor’s hands tied by hardliners in her party leery of Macron’s proposals.

Into this increasingly frustrating relationship, stepped Trump.

Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance © Getty Images President Trump And French President Macron Hold Joint News Conference In East Room

At a White House meeting during Macron’s state visit in April 2018, Trump began with a tirade about German trading practices and then asked Macron what he thought of Merkel. When Macron tried to answer politely, Trump cut him off and called her a “loser,” according to a diplomat present.

Trump’s monologues, sometimes premised on basic factual errors, can leave Macron lost for words, the diplomat said. But the president’s reading of the big picture can make a lot of sense all the same, he added.

Macron’s relationship with Trump has deteriorated since then, and he’s stood firm with Merkel on both Iran and climate. But the French leader has also shown that he’s prepared to exploit the same pressure points as Trump and on occasion to leave Merkel isolated when she stands up to the US.

A month after that White House encounter, Macron delivered his harshest rebuke yet to Merkel.

Invited to Aachen, Germany, to receive an award for serving European integration, Macron lectured an audience including the chancellor for obstructing his plans, even echoing Trump’s critique of the Berlin government.

“Germany can’t have a perpetual fetish about budget and trade surpluses, because they come at the expense of others,” he said.

When Germany blocked arms exports to Saudi Arabia last year after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Macron, like Trump, sought to shield his relationship with the Saudi regime and dismissed Merkel’s stance as “demagoguery.” That fight put a question mark over French-German plans to jointly develop tanks and a fighter plane.

Macron even threw a spanner in the works of German plans for a new gas pipeline to Russia, a project that enrages Trump.

Officials in Berlin were furious when France persuaded the EU to demand greater regulatory oversight of the North Stream 2, labelling it a threat to German interests.

A compromise was found, but the bad taste remained.

The Germans’ anger flared up again in May when Macron shot down their candidate to head the European Commission. Manfred Weber was the head of the biggest group in the EU parliament, a party ally of the chancellor, and officially the winner of the EU elections. But Macron demolished his credentials at a dinner in front of EU leaders.

Trump Is Coming for Europe’s Most Important Alliance © Bloomberg Ursula Von Der Leyen Ahead of European Commission Presidency Vote

Merkel herself had been lukewarm about Weber, and acknowledged his inexperience. But the German camp saw Macron’s move not just as a European power play, but an attack on the European party system that has been a key element in their influence.

What followed was like a replay of the all night crisis summits of 2015 with an added element of farce. The 28 EU leaders were called back to Brussels for endless negotiations, though this time it wasn’t the fate of the euro that was at stake, just the identity of the bloc’s top bureaucrat.

Macron settled the crisis with a call to the chancellor, proposing German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen as a compromise candidate who could win broad support.

Macron describes their jousting as “productive confrontation.” Merkel accepts that they have “differences in mentality.” People who know them say they aren’t close, but manage to work together.

Their alliance has been fundamental to reining in the US leader at previous G-7 meetings. They were at the centre of the push that persuaded Trump to sign the communique at last year’s summit in Canada, even if he then ripped it up on the plane home. And any tensions this weekend could compromise efforts to wring concessions from the U.S.

As Air Force One begins its descent into Biarritz on Saturday, both will know the relationship is in for another stress test.

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