If it’s America First Europe will follow suit, says German economy minister
Europe will respond in kind if the US pushes on with its America First policy, placing its economic interests before all others, Germany's minister for economic affairs and energy Peter Altmaier has said.
In an interview with ARD television, Altmaier said: "The US are our friends and partners, and we want to defend our common values.
"But if it's America First, and they put their economic interest before others, then they have to expect Europe to define their own interests and fight for them."
Trade war jitters have been bubbling after the Trump administration imposed tariffs of 25 per cent on steel imports and 10 per cent on aluminium in March, though it gave temporary exemptions to the EU and several other countries with these set to expire at the beginning of June.
President Trump has been a vocal proponent of the America First policy, advocating US nationalism and anti-interventionism, using it as the main theme of his campaign to become President.
He has frequently complained of America being on the receiving end of unfair deals, tweeting in March that its steel and aluminium industries had been decimated by "decades of unfair trade and bad policy with countries from around the world".
"We must not let our country, companies and workers be taken advantage of any longer," he said.
Our Steel and Aluminum industries (and many others) have been decimated by decades of unfair trade and bad policy with countries from around the world. We must not let our country, companies and workers be taken advantage of any longer. We want free, fair and SMART TRADE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 1, 2018