Trump Slams NATO, Blasts EU as “Vehicle for Germany”, Seeks Deal With Russia, Threatens BMW

In an amazing set of interviews that proves Obama to be the lamest of lame duck presidents, Trump Slams NATO, Slams Germany, and Floats Russia Nuke Deal.

trump-goes-after-germany

Donald Trump called NATO obsolete, predicted that other European Union members would follow the U.K. in leaving the bloc, and threatened BMW with import duties over a planned plant in Mexico, according to two European newspapers which conducted a joint interview with the president-elect.

Trump, in an hourlong discussion with Germany’s Bild and the Times of London published on Sunday, signaled a major shift in trans-Atlantic relations, including an interest in lifting U.S. sanctions on Russia as part of a nuclear weapons reduction deal.

Quoted in German by Bild from a conversation held in English, Trump predicted that Britain’s exit from the EU will be a success and portrayed the EU as an instrument of German domination designed with the purpose of beating the U.S. in international trade. For that reason, Trump said, he’s fairly indifferent to whether the EU stays together, according to Bild.

The Times quoted Trump as saying he was interested in making “good deals with Russia,” floating the idea of lifting sanctions that were imposed as the U.S. has sought to punish the Kremlin for its annexation of Crimea in 2014 and military support of the Syrian government.

Repeating a criticism of NATO he made during his campaign, Trump said that while trans-Atlantic military alliance is important, it “has problems.”

“It’s obsolete, first because it was designed many, many years ago,” Trump said in the Bild version of the interview. “Secondly, countries aren’t paying what they should” and NATO “didn’t deal with terrorism.” The Times quoted Trump saying that only five NATO members are paying their fair share.

While those comments expanded on doubts Trump expressed about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization during his campaign, he reserved some of his most dismissive remarks for the EU and Merkel, whose open-border refugee policy he called a “catastrophic mistake.”

Brexit Praise

In contrast, Trump praised Britons for voting in 2016 to leave the EU. People and countries want their own identity and don’t want outsiders coming in to “destroy it,” he said. The U.K. is smart to leave the bloc because the EU “is basically a vehicle for Germany,” the Times quoted Trump as saying.

“If you ask me, more countries will leave,” he said.

Vehicle For Germany

Also consider Donald Trump Takes Swipe at EU as ‘Vehicle for Germany’

Donald Trump has taken his strongest swipe yet at the EU, labelling it “a vehicle for Germany” and predicting that other countries will follow Britain in leaving the bloc.

The president-elect also warned that his trust for Angela Merkel “may not last long at all”, ranking the German chancellor alongside Vladimir Putin as a potentially problematic ally.

Washington’s ambassador to the EU, Anthony Gardner, said last week that it would be “the height of folly” for the US to become a “Brexit cheerleader”. He also revealed that Mr Trump’s team had called EU leaders to ask “what country is to leave next”.

But Mr Trump appears ready to do exactly that, predicting that other countries would leave the EU largely as a result of its immigration policy.

“I believe others will leave. I do think keeping it together is not going to be as easy as a lot of people think. And I think this, if refugees keep pouring into different parts of Europe . . . it’s going to be very hard to keep it together because people are angry about it.”

Mr Trump told Mr Gove: “You look at the European Union and it’s Germany. Basically a vehicle for Germany. That’s why I thought the UK was so smart in getting out.”

BMW Border Tax

“I would say to BMW, if they built a factory in Mexico and want to sell cars in the US without paying a 35 per cent tax, then they can forget it. If they want to build cars for [export to] the rest of the world, I wish them all the best. They can build cars for the US. But they will pay a 35 per cent tax for every car they export to the US. What I am saying is that they should build their factory in the US.”

Mish Assessment

I agree with Trump on Brexit, NATO, EU, and Russia.

I strongly disagree with Trump’s trade policy. If every nation acts similarly, global trade will collapse.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Number One Concern of US Citizens is Terrorism

Here’s an interesting graph from the World Economic Forum from their article Which countries are on the right track, according to their citizens?

right-track2

Discontent spreads

Between October and November 2016, the percentage of people who believe things are on the right track in their country dropped by 2 percentage points to 37% globally.

China is bucking the trend with 90% of people expressing confidence in their country’s direction, followed by Saudi Arabia (80%). More than three quarters of Indians and just under six in ten people in Russia and Argentina also believe their country is on the right track.

Brazil is the notable exception among the BRICs nations with only 17% believing the country is heading in the right direction. In Asia, South Korea is an outlier too. Just 13% of its citizens have faith in the country’s trajectory.

Among the Western nations, Canadians are the only people with a predominantly positive outlook (54%).

The US is in the midfield, despite a small month-on-month drop in confidence from 37% to 35%. However, the survey was conducted before the presidential election, and the mood may have changed.

France and Mexico bring up the rear as their citizens have the least confidence in their country’s direction: 88% and 96% of the populace respectively believe that their country is on the wrong track.

A gender split suggests that, globally, men are more optimistic about their nations’ direction than women, with the biggest gender confidence gaps in the US, Israel and Russia.

Ipos MORI Poll

The poll was conducted by Ipos MORI with a strong emphasis on comparing the UK with the rest of the world.

Clicking on the above link downloads a set of charts in a single PDF file. Here are a two more charts.

Gender Gap

right-track3

Most Worrying Issue

right-track4

The most worrying issue in the US is terrorism. Isn’t that a hoot? How many in the US have died from terrorism?

How much terrorism has the US sponsored in other nations, including its own drone policy?

The US warmongers sure have stirred up a lot of irrational fear of terrorism in the US.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

1 2 3 4 860