Merkel says EU ready to retaliate in escalating trade war with US

Monday, 2018-06-11 20:09:28
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel says EU ready to retaliate in escalating trade war with US. (Photo:Xinhua)
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German chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has sent a warning to US President Donald Trump that the European Union (EU) stands ready to retaliate in an escalating trade war between the two transatlantic powers.

"We will not allow ourselves to be bamboozled repeatedly," Merkel said on German public television "ARD" on Sunday (June 10) night. The chancellor's comments were made shortly after the US president surprisingly withdrew support for a hard-won joint declaration on free trade signed at the recent Group of Seven (G7) meeting in La Malbaie, Canada.

Merkel described the circumstance that Trump announced his last-minute change of heart via Twitter, an unconventional channel for high-level diplomatic exchanges, as both "sobering" and "disheartening." While the federal government considered the final summit document to still be legally-binding, Germany and the European Union (EU) would not sit and watch idly as the US increasingly resorted to protectionist policies.

According to Merkel, Germany had little choice but to react firmly to the erratic and unilateral approach adopted by Trump if did not want to appear "open to blackmail." The ongoing deterioration of transatlantic relations showcased that Europe had "relied too easily" on Washington in the past and would now have to work towards a more unified and stronger EU to preserve its autonomy on the global stage.