Ivanka Trump rubs shoulders with Merkel, Lagarde at Berlin women's summit

by Fredrick Graves April 25, 2017, 12:53

The sources, who are described as being "close to both sides", say that German Chancellor Angela Merkel last month convinced Mr Trump that talks on a trade deal between the European Union and US would be simpler than he thought.

Each time the USA president posed the question, he received from the German chancellor the same polite reply: the U.S. can not make any form of a separate trade deal with Germany, as Berlin is a member of the European Union, an economic bloc.

Everytime she replied 'You can't do a deal with Germany, only the EU.

The White House said the two also discussed the conflicts in Syria and Yemen and the need for a peaceful settlement to the crisis in Ukraine.

"Yeah, it's amusing: One of the best chemistries I had was with Merkel", the president said during an interview with the Associated Press covering his first 100 days in office.

"On the eleventh refusal, Trump finally got the message", the official continued.

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However, a trade deal with Europe is far more lucrative for the United States than a deal with Britain.

Merkel, speaking at the opening of the Hannover Messe industry fair, said Germany remained opposed to protectionism and trade barriers, and would continue to work for multilateral trade agreements like the EU's free trade deal with Canada. "The German government explained this policy in their call yesterday", according to her spokesman.

A source close to the White House was quoted as saying that there had been a "realization" in the Trump administration that a trade deal with the European Union - allowing the tariff-free exchange of goods and services - was more important to United States interests than a post-Brexit deal with Britain.

During the first three months of the administration, Ivanka Trump has strived to highlight issues relating to women's economic empowerment.

Merkel's comments came after the London Times reported on Saturday that US President Donald Trump had warmed to a deal with the bloc after meeting Merkel in March.


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