Merkel, Trump Reported to Plan Talks in Washington on April 27By
Germany’s Bild newspaper says trip still in planning stages
Chancellor is intent on avoiding U.S.-Europe trade war
Details of Merkel’s second official trip to the U.S. during Trump’s presidency are still being worked out , the German newspaper said Thursday, citing officials it didn’t identify. A government spokeswoman declined to comment.
The timing would allow Merkel and Trump to meet days before a U.S. tariff waiver on imports of European steel and aluminum lapses on May 1. Trump also must decide by May 12 whether the U.S. will stand by the Iran nuclear agreement, which Germany and its European Union allies want to preserve.
Disputes over trade, security and energy have marked ties between the U.S. and Europe’s biggest economy since Trump won the 2016 presidential election. Merkel’s governing coalition scoffed at his comment this week that a new natural-gas pipeline would send “billions of dollars” to Russia.
Merkel had an awkward first meeting with Trump in March 2017. Although the two leaders lauded the encounter, it didn’t prevent Trump from slamming Germany’s defense spending and trade surplus soon afterward.
The U.S. president’s signal that he’d withdraw from the Paris climate accord two months later prompted Merkel to declare in May that the countries’ reliable relations established after World War II “are to some extent over.”