Just a few years ago, Germany referred to the U.S. as its “most important friend” outside of Europe. But in the latest campaign program by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives the term “friend” has been replaced with “partner.”
The upcoming election is on September 24 and Merkel’s program slogan is “For a Germany in which we live well and happily,” where the U.S.has been downgraded from friend to “most important partner” outside of Europe.
This change just proves how the relationship between the U.S. and Germany has slowly started to deteriorate.
President Donald Trump has made it clear that he disapproved of how Merkel handled the migrant crisis by claiming that the chancellor was “ruining” Germany and that her open-door migration policies were “insane.”
Those aren’t the only issues Trump has been critical of. Trump has also condemned Germany for its trade surplus with the U.S., while also accusing Berlin of owing “massive amounts of money” to NATO.
Germany, on the other hand, disapproves of Trump’s recent move to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord.
“The new CDU/CSU election programme also repeats a line that Merkel used in a speech in Munich in late May after a difficult summit of G7 leaders, where Trump resisted pressure from six other nations to stay in the Paris agreement,” writes Reuters.
“The times in which we could fully rely on others are, to a certain extent, in the past. We Europeans must take our fate into our own hands more decisively than we have in the past,” the program reads.”
Today, the majority of German citizens have a negative connotation about the U.S. According to a recent Pew Research survey, only 35% of Germans have a favorable view of the U.S.
While tensions between Germany and the U.S. increase, Merkel plans to “reinvigorate the friendship” with France.
Author’s note: This frosty relationship with Germany seems to be the direct result of Trump’s demands that Germany pay its fair share in NATO and that trade surpluses get reduced. Merkel caved to Trump’s demands, so maybe this change of narrative is to make Merkel appear stronger and more independent.