German conservatives have dropped the term “friend” in relation to the United States during their campaign for the upcoming election
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 2013 joint program of her Christian Democratic Union (C.D.U.) and sister-party Christian Social Union (C.S.U.) stated that the United States was Germany’s “most important friend” outside of Europe.
The program often discussed promoting ties between the U.S. through removing trade barriers and increasing economic ties, describing the relationship with the U.S. as a “cornerstone” of Germany’s international relations.
The U.S. is now described as a “partner” rather than a friend, revealing the tense relations between Germany and the US since President Trump took office.
The U.S. President has been notably critical of Chancellor Merkel, dismissing the Chancellor’s migration policies as being “insane”, as well as repeatedly critiquing the trade surplus Germany has with the U.S.
Merkel re-used a line she said following the G7 summit in May, during which Trump withdrew from the Paris climate change accord despite outspoken reservations from the six other nations.
“The times in which we could fully rely on others are, to a certain extent, in the past.” Merkel stated in her C.D.U/C.S.U. program. “We Europeans must take our fate into our own hands more decisively than we have in the past.”
The program contained a special addition promising to “reinvigorate the friendship” between Germany and France.”
Trump generally looked upon unfavorably by Germans
After President Trump’s forthright opinions that Chancellor Merkel is “ruining” Germany, the relationship between Berlin and the White House cooled significantly.
A survey revealed only 35% of Germans view the new U.S. President favorably, compared to a significantly higher 57% for former U.S. President Barack Obama at the end of his term.
The memorable moment between the Chancellor and President Trump occurred during the pair’s first meeting, where the President appeared to have forgotten to shake Merkel’s hand.