Yesterday U.S. President Donald Trump met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Washington D.C. and the two leaders spoke about maintaining strong economic ties, creating jobs, and supporting NATO.
President Trump failed to shake Merkel’s hand when she suggested it before reporters at the White House in an awkward moment but during their press conference, Trump emphasized the importance of tapping the potential of women in the economy and supporting workforce development and vocational training.
“Germany has done an incredible job training the employees and future employees and employing its manufacturing and industrial workforce. It’s crucial that we provide our American workers with a really great employment outlook, and that includes making sure that we harness the full potential of women in our economy” President Trump said.
Trump admitted that earlier in the day he and Merkel held a productive meeting between American and German companies to discuss workforce development and vocational training.
In a roundtable discussion between American and German business leaders that included Ivanka Trump, President Trump hailed Germany for having a successful vocational model for highly successful apprenticeship and pointed out that Germany’s youth unemployment rate is considerably lower than many of the other countries across the European Union.
The German unemployment level was 3.8 percent in January 2017 which remains well below the 23 percent unemployment level in Greece, 18 percent in Spain, and 11.9 percent level in Italy.
Germany has the strongest economy in the European Union, the fastest growing G7 economy, and the fourth largest nominal GDP in the world.
Germany is a founding member of the European Union and has the largest population in the EU at 81 million.
President Trump said that the ties between the U.S. and Germany are important and the 2 countries must work together towards fair and reciprocal trade policies that benefit both of their peoples.
“I welcome collaboration between our two countries and our industry leaders. We have some of our great industry leaders here, as you know, Chancellor. Great people. We must embrace new and effective job-training approaches, including online courses, high school curriculums, and private-sector investment that prepare people for trade, manufacturing, technology, and other really well-paying jobs and careers” Trump remarked in the cabinet room.
Trump admitted that “millions of hard-working U.S. citizens have been left behind by international commerce and spoke about working together where all of their citizens have a “path to financial security.”
German Chancellor Merkel said that Germans owe a lot to the United States and cited the past support the U.S. provided Germany during the Cold War besides the economic aid the U.S. gave Germany through the Marshall Plan after World War II.
Merkel said she is “gratified” to know that the president underlined how important he thinks NATO is and said that Germany has increased their defense spending by 8 percent and is committed to the 2 percent of GDP defense target with NATO until 2024.
“NATO is of prime importance for us, and it was not without very good reason that we said during our summit meeting in Wales that also Germany needs to increase its expense …. expenditure” Merkel said.
“We committed to this 2 percent goal until 2024 we — last year we increased our defense spending by 8 percent, and we’re going to work again and again on this. And we said that, obviously, defense and security has a lot of different assets and facets to it” Merkel added.
Merkel said that Germany will work on political solutions in Libya and Syria, support the 2014 Minsk Protocol concerning Ukraine, and continue to commit to the Afghan mission.
Today U.S. President Trump tweeted that Germany owes vast sums of money to NATO and claimed the U.S. must be paid back.
Currently, Germany contributes less than the 2 percent of GDP target towards defense as a NATO member and remains at the 1 percent level but they don’t owe money to NATO or the U.S. as President Trump just claimed on Twitter where he is often known to be loose with the facts.
Trump tweeted, “Despite what you have heard from the FAKE NEWS, I had a GREAT meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Nevertheless, Germany owes vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!”
Despite what you have heard from the FAKE NEWS, I had a GREAT meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Nevertheless, Germany owes…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2017
…vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2017
Merkel emphasized that she is gratified that the Trump administration and President Trump is personally committed to the Minsk process in the Donbass region in southern Ukraine.
“There has to be a safe and secure solution for Ukraine, but the relationship with Russia has to be improved as well, once the situation there on the ground is clarified” Merkel said.
“Minsk is a good basis but, unfortunately, we haven’t made, yet, the headway that we want to but we are going to work together with our experts in the next few months to come on this issue” Merkel added.
Merkel had her phone tapped in the past by the U.S. intelligence community and President Trump joked about how they were both wiretapped by the Obama administration.
An Obama spokesman has denied Trump’s wiretapping claim after he made it on Twitter on March 4th while both F.B.I. Director James Comey and former U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper have also denied Trump’s claim that Trump Tower was wiretapped during the 2016 election season.
Written and Edited By: