President Trump declared that the European Union is one of America’s biggest foes during an interview Sunday, noting that the trade agreements they have with the US are overly advantageous to the European bloc.
When asked by CBS News anchor Jeff Glor “What’s your biggest competitor, the biggest foe globally right now?” Trump responded by citing the EU.
“Well, I think we have a lot of foes. I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade,” Trump said, adding “Now, you wouldn’t think of the European Union, but they’re a foe.”
“Russia is foe in certain respects. China is a foe economically, certainly they are a foe. But that doesn’t mean they are bad. It doesn’t mean anything. It means that they are competitive,” the President continued.
“A lot of people might be surprised to hear you list the E.U. as a foe before China and Russia,” Glor interceded.
“The E.U. is very difficult,” Trump explained, adding “I respect the leaders of those countries. But, in a trade sense, they’ve really taken advantage of us and many of those countries are in NATO and they weren’t paying their bills.”
Trump also revisited comments he made last week regarding the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline through Germany.
“Germany made a pipeline deal with Russia. Where they’re going to be paying Russia billions and billions of dollars a year for energy, and I say that’s not good, that’s not fair. You’re supposed to be fighting for someone and then that someone gives billions of dollars to the one you’re, you know, guarding against. I think it’s ridiculous, so I let that be known also this time,” Trump said.
No sooner than Trump had made the comments in the interview, European Council President Donald Tusk was triggered into the following snarky response:
America and the EU are best friends. Whoever says we are foes is spreading fake news.
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) July 15, 2018
Tusk has declared that the global order can only be maintained if China, the US and Russia act jointly on trade, otherwise “conflict and chaos” are on the cards.
Trump has been on the offensive against NATO, successfully pressuring member countries to increase their own defense spending to the tune of an extra $14 billion, and to stop relying so heavily on US funding.
As far as the EU goes, Trump made clear his feelings during a visit to the UK last week where he advised Prime Minister Theresa May to sue the EU rather than negotiate over a Brexit deal.