Following French President Emmanuel Macron’s State Visit to Washington, Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet Trump on Friday, April 27 in Washington. One should keep expectations in line with the difficulty of the issues facing the transatlantic partnership and the rather frosty personal relations.
The Chancellor, stressing the values based partnership, will have a business meeting with President Trump, whose interest-based views take precedence in his negotiations. The key issues are not easily resolved. They include several priority themes: trade, Iran, defense and climate.
In trade disputes, Germany and Europe seek to extend permanently the waiver for the Trump tariffs on European Steel and Aluminum and perhaps to endorse the restart of the bilateral US-EU TTIP negotiations.
The Iran nuclear weapons agreement, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has been contentious with President Trump expected to reject recertifying Iran’s compliance with the agreement. President Trumps’ legitimate concerns with Iran’s ballistic missile tests and forward deployment in Syria and Lebanon, which are not covered in the agreement are problematic. Macron urged the U.S.to stay with the deal on Iran. He suggested a more comprehensive deal” that would address Iran’s ballistic missile program and its expansionism in Yemen, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria, as well as its nuclear program.
Of course NATO’s July Summit in Brussels will keep the 2% goal. Germany can argue for its percentage increase in Defense budget, add Infrastructure investments, Germany in ERI Poland; Germany Framework Nation. Further, she is liked das Rahmennationen-Konzept. This will require the future German government to accept an unaccustomed politico-military leadership role. It will also be necessary to increase defense spending for the long term. While Germany did not join the British, Americans and French in the Syria operation, it is poised to assist in redevelop the country.
The Climate Accord is waiting for the world to call out to America to address the issue, when I is ready.
The outcome of the talks, given the rather frosty relationship between the leaders, is likely to be thin. Nevertheless, the transatlantic partnership remains the bedrock of the international order. The transatlantic partnership promotes a liberal, cooperative and peaceful world order that creates stability and wealth, also for the US. At the same time, it provides a forum to legitimize the pursuit of national interests, provides for the common defense, and offers coordination of joined actions against global threats, such as international terrorism.
As President Macron stated in his speech to Congress: “The United States and Europe have a historical role in this respect. Because it is the only way to defend what we believe in, to promote our universal values, to express strongly that human rights, the rights of minorities, and shared liberty are the true answer to the disorders of the world.”