Germany Slams Trump Criticism: Urges US To "Build Better Cars", Accuses Washington Of Causing Refugee Crisis

Tyler Durden's picture

An angry Berlin has responded with a staunch defense of its policies after President-elect Donald Trump criticized German Chancellor Angela Merkel in two separate Sunday interviews, one with Germany's Bild and one with the Sunday Times, for her stance during the refugee crisis while threatening a 35% tariff on BMW cars imported into the US.

Germany’s deputy chancellor and minister for the economy, Sigmar Gabriel, said on Monday morning that a tax on German imports would lead to a “bad awakening” among US carmakers since they were reliant on transatlantic supply chains. “I believe BMW’s biggest factory is already in the US, in Spartanburg [South Carolina],” Gabriel, leader of the centre-left Social Democratic party, told the Bild newspaper in a video interview.

“The US car industry would have a bad awakening if all the supply parts that aren’t being built in the US were to suddenly come with a 35% tariff. I believe it would make the US car industry weaker, worse and above all more expensive." Playing Trump's threat off Congress, Gabriel added that he "would wait and see what the Congress has to say about that, which is mostly full of people who want the opposite of Trump" as quoted by The Guardian.

In his interviews with Bild and the Times, the US president-elect had indicated that he would aim to realign the “out of balance” car trade between Germany and the US. “If you go down Fifth Avenue everyone has a Mercedes Benz in front of his house, isn’t that the case?” he said. “How many Chevrolets do you see in Germany? Not very many, maybe none at all … it’s a one-way street.”

So, when asked what Trump could do to make sure German customers bought more American cars, Gabriel had a simple suggestion: “Build better cars.”

Asked what Trump could do to make sure German customers bought

more American cars, Sigmar Gabriel said: ‘Build better cars.

Trump's interview had an adverse impact shares in carmakers BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen, which fell on Monday morning following the President-elect's comments. BMW shares were down 0.85%, shares in Daimler were 1.54% lower and Volkswagen shares were trading 1.07% down in early trading in Frankfurt. The reason for Trump's latest outburst at Germany's car giants is that all three carmakers have invested heavily in factories in Mexico, where production costs are lower than the US, with an eye to exporting smaller vehicles to the American market, a move which Trump vocally disapproves.

Meanwhile, a BMW spokeswoman said a BMW Group plant in the central Mexican city of San Luis Potosi would build the BMW 3 Series starting from 2019, with the output intended for the world market. The plant in Mexico would be an addition to existing 3 Series production facilities in Germany and China.

* * *

Responding to Trump’s comments that Merkel had made an “utterly catastrophic mistake by letting all these illegals into the country”, Gabriel said the increase in the number of people fleeing the Middle East to seek asylum in Europe had partially been a result of US-led wars destabilising the region.

Slamming US foreign policy - and thus the Obama regime, not to mention Angela Merkel's close friend Hillary Clinton - as a culprit for the European refugee crisis, Gabriel said that “there is a link between America’s flawed interventionist policy, especially the Iraq war, and the refugee crisis, that’s why my advice would be that we shouldn’t tell each other what we have done right or wrong, but that we look into establishing peace in that region and do everything to make sure people can find a home there again,” Gabriel said.

“In that area Germany and Europe are already making enormous achievements – and that’s why I also thought it wasn’t right to talk about defence spending, where Mr Trump says we are spending too little to finance Nato. We are making gigantic financial contributions to refugee shelters in the region, and these are also the results of US interventionist policy.”

Gabriel, who will likely run as the centre-left candidate against Merkel in Germany’s federal elections in September, said Trump’s election should encourage Europeans to stand up for themselves.

“On the one hand, Trump is an elected president. When he is in office, we will have to work with him and his government – respect for a democratic election alone demands that,” Gabriel said. “On the other hand, you need to have enough self-confidence. This isn’t about making ourselves submissive. What he says about trade issues, how he might treat German carmakers, the question about Nato, his view on the European Union – all these require a self-confident position, not just on behalf of us Germans but all Europeans. We are not inferior to him, we have something to bring to the table too.

“Especially in this phase in which Europe is rather weak, we will have to pull ourselves together and act with self-confidence and stand up for our own interests.”

While Merkel has yet to provide a direct response to Trump's statements and refused to comment on the interview during a news conference with New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English, saying she would wait until after Trump's inauguration and then planned to work with him at all levels of government, her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said the chancellor had read the Trump interview “with interest”, but declined to comment in more detail until the president-elect had been sworn in.

“We are now waiting for President Trump to start his term and will then work closely with the new government,” he said, adding that "It’s a clear statement of the positions of the new American president, but the positions of the chancellor on many of these issues are equally clear."

Martin Schäfer, a spokesman for the German foreign ministry, rejected Trump’s labelling of the EU as a “vehicle for Germany”. He said: “For the German government, Europe has never been a means to an end, but a community of fate which, in times of collapsing old orders, is more important than ever.”

The foreign ministry also rejected Trump’s criticism that creating “security zones” in Syria would have been considerably cheaper than accepting refugees fleeing the war-torn country. “What exactly such a security zone is meant to be is beyond my comprehension and would have to be explained,” said Schäfer, adding that there had not been enough willingness among the international community to lend military support to create a no-fly zone in Syria.

* * *

Germany was not the only nation unhappy with Trump's statement: Pierre Moscovici, European economic affairs commissioner, also found fault with Trump’s assertion that other European countries would follow in Britain’s footsteps and leave the EU.

“I’m not worried, I think this idea that Brexit is going to be contagious is a fantasy, a bad fantasy,” Moscovici told reporters in Paris. “Brexit is not a great thing,” he said, warning Trump that comments advocating a break-up of the EU would not get the trans-Atlantic relationship off to the best start.

* * *

Yet while Germany and Brussels were unhappy with Trump's criticism, Moscow was delighted, and sure enough Trump’s remarks on Nato were met more favourably in Moscow, where Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, agreed with the US president-elect that the alliance was “obsolete”.

“Since Nato is tailored toward confrontation, all its structures are dedicated to the ideals of confrontation, you can’t really call it a modern organisation meeting the ideas of stability, steady growth and security,” he said.

But Trump’s suggestion that the US could lift its sanctions on Russia in exchange for an agreement to reduce the countries’ nuclear arsenals elicited a cooler response. Peskov said Russia had not been conducting talks with the US about nuclear arsenal reduction and said cancelling sanctions was not a political goal in Russia. "Russia wasn’t the initiator in introducing these restrictions, and Russia, as the president of Russia has underlined, doesn’t intend to raise the issue of these sanctions in its foreign contacts,” he said.

Last month, echoing similar comments by Trump, Putin said Russia needed to strengthen its strategic nuclear forces. Leonid Slutsky, a Russian MP, said he “wouldn’t connect these two issues and make the cancellation of sanctions a negotiating point in such a delicate area as nuclear security”. Konstantin Kosachyov, head of the foreign affairs committee in the Russian senate, said the cancellation of sanctions was “definitely not an end in and of itself for Russia”.

“It’s not even a strategic goal for which something needs to be sacrificed, especially in the security sphere,” he told state news agency RIA Novosti. “We think [sanctions] are a bad legacy of the departing White House team that need to be sent after it into history.”

* * *

And yet, perhaps Trump's bluster was merely the latest ruse to get everyone on the negotiating table. It may be working already: as Reuters reports, Chancellor Merkel is working to set a date this spring for a meeting with Donald Trump, who will be sworn in as U.S. president on Friday, German government sources said on Monday. Merkel had offered to meet Trump in the United States in her capacity as chairman of the Group of 20 leading economies, the sources said.

The chancellor has spoken with Trump only once, shortly after his election to succeed U.S. President Barack Obama. Following Trump's latest "stunning" public statements, she now appears to be in a hurry to not only speak with him again, but also meet face to face.

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YHWH is greater's picture

Schweigen !  Schweinhund !

BaBaBouy's picture

It All Goes Back To GB and Hey I Gotta N'idea, Lets Take Out Saddam...

OfAllElaboratePlans's picture
OfAllElaboratePlans (not verified) BaBaBouy Jan 16, 2017 10:04 AM



Was it over when the Germans bombed DETROIT?

xythras's picture

Better Cars?

Pfff ...WE NEED SHIPS. If not, in a couple of years the chinks will take over not only the South China Sea but the West Coast also.

froze25's picture

To be clear she is blaming Obama aND the RINO leadership right, Trump hasn't been the president for the last 8 years..

Life of Illusion's picture

 had partially been a result of US-led wars destabilising the region.






wulf's picture

It seems 'Murika will have to find the 1500 tonnes of gold they are "storing" for Germany...

Delving Eye's picture

Merkel's right about American cars. Who in their right mind would buy a Chevy or a Ford or a Chrysler?

shovelhead's picture

Because it's hard to fit a 1/2 ton of anything except 4 fat people in a Mercedes.

The Saint's picture
The Saint (not verified) shovelhead Jan 16, 2017 11:56 AM

Trade should be adjusted for wage disparity.  If you build a product in a low wage country there should be a tariff that brings the price of a product up to the average manufacturing wage/benifit of the country of import.  That would make world trade even and fair.


Dabooda's picture

Competition means lower prices/better products/faster service for consumers.  "Fairness" means equal pay for overpriced/shoddy/slow workers.  Fuck "fairness."

jeff montanye's picture

i agree.  trump's tariffs are the least appealing of his ideas imo.  they seem likely to be hit or miss, directed at "enemies" and nearer the rule of man than the rule of law.  and likely to invite retaliation and degenerate into a world depression.  trade and aid not loan and drone.

one thing he could do is work toward single payer health insurance and take a huge cost out of the income statements of u.s. corporations (including subsidiaries of foreign ones and those considering opening a business here).

another would be working to have the good parts of health and safety regulations that u.s. corporations have to obey (and there are good parts) made international in some way.

ditto on the anti pollution laws.  it is wrong to let countries undercut the prices of others' goods by trashing their land, air and water.  again a global approach makes sense.

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

~"Angela Merkel and Clara Hitler:"~

That's freaky as hell.

Trump to Merkel:

"You're hot when you're angry."


Pinto Currency's picture

Freaky too that both Adolph and Angela work to destroy Germany.

nuubee's picture

Funny, I find them both to be correct.

1) Trump is right, BMW making cars in Mexico to sell in the U.S. is a German company taking advantage of NAFTA, i.e. dishonest.
2) Trump is right, Merkel did open the floodgates by refusing to consider protecting Germany from migrants, now they're up shit creek.

3) Merkel is right, American cars aren't that great (in terms of design), and we should make better cars. (but that's not a Trump problem, that's a GM/Ford/Chrysler problem
4) Merkel is right, America (not Trump) started the whole refugee crisis when we destroyed Libya and turned it into a shit sandwich.

They're both right.

25or6to4's picture

82% of the rapefugees aren't even coming in from the areas in the ME the US was/is involved in as witnessed by the fact the current crisis was brought on by the taking out of Kadafi in Lybia, which was lead by French and British air strikes. Kadafi was the only one holding back the tidal wave of negros from sub-Sahara Africa.The whole situation is a facade in order to destroy both the white race and culture.

edit: BTW, what ever happened to uncle Ghordo who's duty it seems was to set us straight on all matters relating to the open air gulag known as the EU? I used to love hearing his stories about how the EU is such an benevolent orginization .

WordSmith2013's picture

Speaking of Germany, why was their top investigative journalist just killed?


‘The CIA had a hand on every significant journalist in Europe’ — Udo Ulfkotte
25or6to4's picture

Indeed, I read about that on the Swedish online news site Friatider yesterday. Go figure , a relatively fit guy keeling over of a heart attack at the ripe old age of 56. Could naturally happen I suppose but judging how the EU and Germany deals with dissidents it makes one very suspicious . The fact that the jugenpresse journalists were celebrating online speaks for itself.

Manthong's picture

Back when I was hustling the streets, my top whore accused me of causing her prostitution problem.

Manthong's picture

My old ’garage 79 TA with the bored out 409 would beat the doors off of any “not pro built” or stock kraut ride on the road.

AVmaster's picture

Dude, build better cars???

Audis/VW's etc etc are OVER-ENGINEERED pieces of shit.

I had to build a 2nd tool set just for working on these piles of poo.

Better pray to god you never break a $20 timing belt, because it will easily cost you $1500($850+ for the valves, rest in labor and gaskets, misc, etc).

If that cam position sensor is just a cunt's whisker off left or right, the whole engine goes to shit.... and you will be wasting tons of time and money chasing what you think is bad sensors, wiring, computers, etc etc... 

They wanted $500 for what is essentially a bar of steel 3 feet long with 2 holes and notches on the end of it. What is the purpose of this bar you say? Not to give you a blowjob, hell, it doesn't even make you breakfast. It's soul purpose in life is to hold the cams in place when you put the timing belt on... Doesn't do anything else but lean against a wall and collect DUST. Oh, I threw it at my friend one time, but thats a different story....


Onehundredpercentofnuthin...'s picture

I agree, the Krauts used to build a superior vehicle. I believe the Japs have taken that spot now. Toyota, nissan, honda, etc... are much better vehicles IMHO. They just don't break much like American or European vehicles. I had 2 old VW diesels, I sold the Rabbit last summer so I'm down to an 86 golf that I'm also trying to sell now. I too have 2 drawers full of specialty tools that you have to have in order to be able to work on them. I bought a 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage in November. It gets 40-50 mpg and I bet I won't be putting my wrenches on it very often. The missus has a Volvo S40, you want to talk about a piece of shit. I have refused to work on it since I did the timing belt and water pump. It's a piece of shit.

Invinciblehandaxe's picture

yeah tell me about that...
my AC in my vw jetta started turning itself off on every bump. it took 3 visits and about 300€ till they figured out one of the carbons in the tiny electromotor in the AC almost fell off

at first they wanted to took the qhole dash out.

Guderian's picture

BS; it was his 3rd heart attack. Keep it clean, so we can keep blaming FakeStreamMedia -and not vice versa.

researchfix's picture

"4) Merkel is right, America (not Trump) started the whole refugee crisis when we destroyed Libya and turned it into a shit sandwich."

Of course that´s true. But this is the first time a German official speaks these words. And then it´s our traitor. Does that count as a 180 degrees or 360 degrees turn?

Déjà view's picture

Most small/compact designed vehicles are all developed overseas for Chrysler, Ford & GM...worldwide buyers are concerned with fuel economy = demand for small vehicles...therefore all small car developement in overseas markets.

U.S. motor fuel prices are inexpensive compared to worldwide markets...creating demand for LARGE vehicles with all their developemental logistics...smaller vehicles are money losers for Detroit.

Tejas...has not raised state motor fuel tax since 1991...'Feral' Gov't since 1993. More debt in lieu of cutting highway spending.

Tejas going Ape $hit constructing TOLL ROADS and servicing HIGHWAY 'ROBBERY' BONDS...

Texas has racked up $23 billion in road debt and will spend an estimated $31 billion retiring it over two decades, lawmakers said.

Factors working against U.S. automobile industry...

1. Healthcare taxing economy @ 19%/GDP

2. Highest corporate taxes in OECD

3. Out of control tort system

4. Worldwide fuel prices concerning small/compact vehicle developement

5. High overseas tariffs on U.S. made vehicles exported

6. Phony highest credit rating on $20T. debt by 2/3 large rating agencies resulting in an uncompetitive U.S. dollar

BTW...Ford and GM also have factories in lower cost European nations...Hungary, Portugal, Spain, Turkey...etc...

President Elect Trump...tweet if you read ZH...


Arrow4Truth's picture

Wouldn't argue about that. The biggest question might be... why is Merkel not say anything about #4 before now?

Rubicon727's picture

"Freaky too that both Adolph and Angela work to destroy Germany.

German wages have been slashed. However, millions in Italy, Greek, Spain and Portugal can tell you that living under the German Austerity Masters, is probably worse than trying to survive the Hitler years.

johngaltfla's picture

My message to Germany:

Shut up Fritz we kicked your ass 70 year ago and our All American Lesbo Amazon battallion could do it now in less time if we have to bitchslap your stupid asses again.

niemand's picture

sure, showing up when we were almost done and fighting against 60 countries. What about Vietnam?
bitch slapped by rice farmers without air force. try China and Russia.
Everyone can beat a pussy arab army.

RevIdahoSpud3's picture

They look similar but they are both Germanic. Hitler was from Austria but they were all Germans. It's like Mexicans or Chinese, at least the ones who made it to South Idaho. They all look alike.

Bubba Rum Das's picture

"Angela Merkel and Clara Hitler:"

Oh, so that's why when Merkel get's that pissed off look on her face; she reminds me of a middle school Hoodlum...

Kinda' looks like 'Dylan Roof', that fake ass false flag black church shooter! Gawd, where do they dig these actors up?

ultraticum's picture

Spoken like a true statist authoritarian.

Delving Eye's picture

LOL!  I agree, shovelhead. Still, I'll only buy a Toyota or Mazda. We bought our minivan (Sienna 2008) and sedan (Mazda 3 2006) used and they never need repairs. My brand-new Chrysler T&C Limited (1999 minivan) was a POS from start to finish. Then Mercedes raped the company (Chrysler) and they got even worse. I've owned a Honda sedan, too, and it was an absolute POS.

spieslikeus's picture

I've been a toyota guy forever but my 2012 FJ Trail Teams just broke an axle.....a fucking axle! Had to use 4wd to get to work, put it back into 2wd and got up to speed, and boom, broken axle. 4wd indicator was off, transmission felt fine at the time. Of course it's out of warranty so I'm fucked for a grand.

Had a few used Landcruisers, last one for 10 years and added another 100k to the 80 it already had, not one problem. Shold have kept it.


And as for the BMW, ever had to pay for a repair on one? JHC, better be holdin' some gold.

sokkitome's picture

BMW eh? Mine's a 2004 Mercedes S430. The ignition failed (stayed on) and they wanted $1600 to replace it. Fixed it with a $20 kill switch. Then the radio-navigation unit failed and they wanted $4500. Fixed that with some C4.


Where there's a whip, there's a way.

Déjà view's picture

Best Rankings by Country of Origin

Cars produced by German manufacturers figure among the winners in five of the nine vehicle classes. Two first places also go to Japan and one each to Sweden and France. If we also take into account the best vehicles in the higher mileage ranges, German manufacturers achieve 18 out of a total of 27 best rankings. Of the remaining best rankings, four were achieved by Japan, three by France and two by Sweden.

Two Theives and a Liar's picture

 The most reliable cars I've owned are Subaru (by a mile!) and an ol' Chevy Corsica (used to call it the "Crapica" was a death trap...but reliable, fuel efficient and cheap to repair...used to go thru alternators for some reason but that was all).

Both Honda and Toyota were the WORST, most expensive ownership experiences I had...even worse than Audi! Now that's saying something!

edotabin's picture

All I know is a friend dished out  a pretty penny to buy a brand new Mercedes. He was traveling at 65 miles per hour and all of a sudden the auto braking feature kicked in and the car stopped cold. He was very lucky it was nighttime and that no one was behind him. There would have been a major accident.

 When he took it when he took it to the dealership they said they had heard of a couple other instances of this happening. All they wound up doing was "adjusting" the sensor.

I suppose car manufacturers are including this feature in order to somehow defeat the texting drivers. It just seems like a very dangerous and moronic idea although I'm sure many drivers do extremely moronic things as well.

JRobby's picture

Subi drivetrain is FUCKING BULLET PROOF! Great cars.

Antifaschistische's picture

true..., but us Protectionist policy (paid for by Detroit Lobbyist) already makes it illegal to import the following trucks:

Mercedes Unimog, Russian Kamaz, Tatra, MAN, etc..

watch some youtube Video's of "Dakar Rally Trucks" and weap that NOTHING comes from the US. Except for some CAT racing engines...good job CAT.

These are the great trucks of the world, which deliver food and goods to most of the worlds population that do NOT live along paved roads (including Mexico and Canada) but they are not made in the US or even allowed into the US....

...don't get me wrong, I'm as much of a "buy America" guy as anyone here....and I put my money where my mouth is there, but America has to wake up, and every rehab program starts with painful admission of reality.   I'm ready for that that therapy...but is detroit?  or, is Trump?   we'll see.

Stuck on Zero's picture

Our government has allowed every foreign country to roll all over us industry-wise as long as they said they were friends. US industry couldn't compete with a hostile US government and hostile foreign governments. Germany just doesn't let foreign cars onto its soil. Screw them. 

jeff montanye's picture

foreigners but not foreign cars.  they may reconsider the wisdom of that in time.

or course the germans are right, many of the refugees are there because of the mideast wars started by the u.s. at the instigation of their near master israel.  we could trace israel's birth back to the crimes of the nazis and the resultant misplaced sympathy for the jews resulting therefrom.

but that's past history.  we've got the world we've got and israel must be restrained and changed, much like the banksters who share some history with israel.  one person one vote in the one country currently controlled by israel.  gaza too.

the simplest way is to expose their crimes.  they are many and wicked beyond words.  thank you a.g. sessions.

that's not a nobel prize but it is before he's done anything.  somehow i don't think he will dissapoint as badly as prez obama.

fleur de lis's picture

There is no way Germans or other Europeans will start buying American cars over BMW, Merc, etc.

American cars are simply not built as well.

It really should not be that way but it is.


The basic resources are available to all manufacturers, so why the difference in quality?

Is it worker training, details, manpower, inspection, attitude, plant facilities and supplies, union meddling, what?

Instead of going after the Germans for delivering a superior quality product, Trump should find out what makes their product better at the plant level and replicate the same process at home. 

We should be producing cars that are the same or better than the German models, not forcing consumers to buy something they don't want.


hibou-Owl's picture

If you want a well designed and made car 1st Japanese, 2nd European,
Yankie clunkers are way down the list, even european made Ford, Opel have reliability problems.

Md4's picture

In terms of ordinary consumer vehicles (ie not high end makes and models), Toyota remains the gold standard.

Even their products made here are far superior to any American vehicle--including trucks.

That points directly to manufacturers, not to workers.

American manufacturers haven't made quality vehicles since the sixties.

They, like most American corporate jackasses, make shareholders and stock value the priority.

Toyota doesn't.

That is a fact...

...and the difference.

JRobby's picture

Toyota started going downhill when they adopted the GM business plan

GCT's picture

Fleur I disagree after living in Germany for five years Germans would pay twice what an American would pay for a vette, firebird, Camaro, Mustang GT, and viper.  They do indeed buy the vehicles the problem is Germany slaps a big tarriff on them. The German government and the military make selling one of these vehicle to a German a nightmare.  Many military guys wanted to sell their used vehicle noted above toa German that wanted one only to stop after the mountains of paperwork and taxes.

Part of our problem is we do not inspect vehicle like they do in Europe.  Quality control is simply not there for American vehicles because they do nto have to meet the stringent standards to be use on European roadways.  European instpection are tough and the vehicle is even put on a dyno and their breake placed on a separate machine to check them.  I watched brand new American vehicles fail this test.  Usually the brakes or the headlight did not meet the manufacturer's specifications and we Americans have no way of know because you cannot go to a mechanic and get them checked.

On the flip side German vehicles are expensive to work on and the cost of ownership is very high.  I know I had a mercedes and got rid of it. 

My wife Grand Cherokee has a 180k on the speedodometer and runs like a champ.  I recently had to replace the valve cover gaskets and wow they cost 20 bucks.  Go get some German gaskets, but be prepared to pay 100 bucks or more for them. 

Granted the German vehicles are better quality on the interior but American vehicles are more forgiving to those that do not pull a dipstock or maintain their vehicle.  German vehicles require good maintenance or they will break more often then US made vehicles.  My son just got rid of his Mercedes SUV after this last service.  Got himself a Rubicon and loves it.

I drive a Ram1500 and a Ford F150 and love them.