Merkel faces conservative rebellion over German migration policy

Angela Merkel Trump

Trump said on Twitter in March that if the European Union drops its "horrific barriers & tariffs on USA products going in, we will likewise drop ours", but that he would otherwise "tax cars". Shortly afterward, the White House issued a separate photo showing a sitting Trump speaking as Merkel, Abe and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listen. "I don't think that ratcheting up the rhetoric is going to improve things".

Mr Trump revoked his administration's support for the G-7 communique after Mr Trudeau's news conference.

The German leader said she had no idea of Donald Trump's motive for suggesting to revive the G8 format.

"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.

On his way to Singapore, the USA president tweeted: "Based on Justin's false statements at his news conference, and the fact that Canada is charging massive Tariffs to our U.S. farmers, workers and companies, I have instructed our U.S. Reps not to endorse the Communique as we look at Tariffs on automobiles flooding the U.S. Market! Instead, we act then too", Merkel told German broadcaster ARD, according to Reuters.

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Merkel sidestepped giving a clear answer when asked if Berlin will stop viewing Washington as an "important partner", saying that she would continue efforts to achieve compromises through dialogue and "go her own way" if those discussions fail to bring any results. Her interview came about a day after Trump refused to endorse the G7 summit's communique that called for reducing tariff barriers.

The German chancellor's comments on Sunday come after Trudeau announced that Canada would implement its own retaliatory tariffs on the U.S. Trump had given Canada, the European Union and Mexico temporary exemptions from the steel and aluminum tariffs he first announced in March, but said at the end of May that he would be ending the exemptions.

Many saw a distillation of a crisis of the West in the photograph, and a revival of the debate launched by USA and British media after Trump's 2016 election whether Merkel was the new "leader of the free world". "But if you include services in the trade balance, the US has big surplus with Europe".

In his tweets, Trump attacked Trudeau by calling him "dishonest and weak" and denouncing statements as "false". Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum tariffs sparked tension at the meeting.

The Charlevoix G-7 summit was marked by sharp disagreements over Trump's decision to impose higher import taxes on aluminum and steel imports.

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