In a Brussels meeting with top European Union leadership, President Trump took a pretty personal dig at Germany over its trade surplus.
“The Germans are bad, very bad,” Trump told EU Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council president Donald Tusk, as indicated by German news magazine Der Spiegel.
“Look at the millions of cars they’re selling in the US. Terrible. We will stop this,” Trump reportedly said of the Germans.
Here’s the thing: the US can’t negotiate a deal with Germany alone. It has to deal with the entire EU, since Germany is a member state. Merkel reminded Trump of this when they met in March, noting that trade agreements with the US have “not always been all that popular in Germany either.”
While Trump’s irritation over German car sales isn’t new – Trump told a German newspaper earlier this year he wanted a 35% import tax on BMWs assembled in Mexico to encourage manufacturers to move to the US, according to Quartz – Twitter users also wondered about the president’s reported choice of words on his first foreign trip.