Trump Welcomes Merkel To The White House Again

"The premise of Macron's proposal is that the agreement remains in its existing form and additional elements come on top", another German government official said.

The EU's top trade official Cecilia Malmstrom last week said Brussels expected nothing less than to be permanently excluded from the USA tariffs.

Cautious Merkel has failed to establish as strong a rapport with Trump as she did with Barack Obama and the mood music of her visit is likely to contrast sharply with that of Macron's "bromance" with the USA president.

"How harshly the whole thing will unfold might depend on to what extent Merkel can steer the conversation in the direction of trade and Iran", Jan Techau, a director at The German Marshall Fund of the United States.

Her relationship with Barack Obama was particularly close, officials from that administration have said, so much so that he was a powerful voice encouraging her to run for a fourth term.

"The transatlantic alliance, given the many non-democratic developments in this world", she said, "is a great treasure that I certainly want to cherish and nurture".

The Iran deal, looming USA tariffs on European steel and aluminium products, a planned Russian gas pipeline running under the Baltic Sea to Germany, and Berlin's military spending are issues that divide Merkel and Trump and likely to come up at their working lunch.

Trump had reportedly considered Grenell for the USA ambassadorship to the United Nations before nominating Nikki Haley, a former US representative, for the position.


Despite her more sober style, she is unlikely to diverge much from Macron on substance.

German media cited government sources warning that an extension of the European Union's (EU) current exclusion from new USA tariffs on aluminum and steel imports was unlikely be achieved prior to the lapse of the current agreement on May 1.

"Germany is the largest European Union economy". "And then we will see how we will handle it".

"We can talk about this thing again", said the source.

Germany's BDI industry association is banking on an agreement with Trump.

It is unclear how Mike Pompeo's confirmation as Secretary of State will tilt the debate.

As head of the CIA, for instance, he had relayed the spy agency's institutional assessment that Iran was broadly complying with the terms of the agreement, despite Trump's public pronouncements.

  • Tracy Klein