Germany's Angela Merkel sharply criticized Donald Trump's decision to retract his endorsement of the G7 communique. The German Chancellor said the EU would continue preparing counter-measures to US metal tariffs.
Merkel on Sunday chided US President Donald Trump's decision to retract his endorsement of the G7 communique via Twitter.
In her first interview since the contentious two-day G7 summit in Canada, Merkel told German broadcaster ARD that Trump's "withdrawal via Twitter is of course sobering and a little depressing." The chancellor also announced that the European Union would forge ahead with counter-measures to Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs.
"We won't let ourselves be ripped off again and again," Merkel said, taking on an unusually combative tone. "Instead, we act then too."
The bloc is expected to announce its counter-measures to US tariffs on July 1.
Hours after leaving the G7 summit on Saturday, Trump took to Twitter to assault the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's "false statements" and instructed US representatives to renege on the US' endorsement of the joint communique. He went on to announce that the US would be looking to impose tariffs on car imports.
When asked why she appeared so calm following the fiasco, the chancellor said that escalating the rhetoric wouldn't make things any better.
Merkel said she first found out about Trump's decision on the flight back from Canada. She described the experience as "sobering," after Trump dashed what had been an "arduously negotiated" declaration.
Nevertheless, Germany would stick to the "legally-binding" declaration that was agreed at the end of the summit, she insisted.
Despite Trump's withdrawal and decision to double down on restricting foreign goods entering the US market, Merkel insisted that she would continue to hold talks and work together with the president.
"There remain good reasons to fight for the transatlantic partnership," she said, adding that the current round of trade tariffs that the US and European Union have imposed on each other did not signal the end of a partnership.
Nevertheless, Saturday's events only reinforced the chancellor's commitment to forging a stronger, more unified European Union. Europe must take its take its fate into its own hands and no longer "imprudently" follow the US, Merkel said.
Trump and Merkel are set to meet again at next month's NATO leaders' summit in Brussels.