Diplomatic ties between Washington and Berlin have declined markedly in recent years and Germany’s foreign minister has appeared to warn that relations between the two countries may never be the same again.
In the biggest signal yet of how strained relations have become, Heiko Maas said this weekend that the alliance with the U.S. — which is important in terms of economics, defense and security — might not recover even if President Donald Trump’s rival for the White House, Democrat Joe Biden, won the forthcoming election.
“Everyone who thinks everything in the trans-Atlantic partnership will be as it once was with a Democratic president underestimates the structural changes,” Maas told German press agency DPA Sunday, Deutsche Welle reported.
“The trans-Atlantic relations are extraordinarily important, they remain important, and we are working to ensure they have a future,” Maas said.“But with the way they are now, they are no longer fulfilling the demands both sides have for them.”
Arguably the Western world’s most influential economies and political blocs, the U.S. and Germany have seen their relationship deteriorate during Trump’s time in office.
Defense spending, a brewing trade war between the U.S. and Europe and the threat of U.S. tariffs on German car exports are all bones of contention, as well as the mega gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 (a German-Russian project) and, most recently, the Group of Seven (G-7) alliance and the U.S.′ decision to withdraw troops from Germany.
The U.S. is considering imposing further sanctions on the pipeline project, a move that could reportedly attract retaliatory measures from Germany; Merkel’s administration is considering pressing for coordinated European Union action, according to two German officials familiar with the discussions, Bloomberg reported Friday.
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