Trump's policies hurting European allies, says Macron

PARIS • French President Emmanuel Macron cast blame on US President Donald Trump's policies for hurting allies in Europe, as he arrived in Argentina for a meeting of global leaders.

"Truth said, some of Trump's recent decisions have been done to the detriment of its allies," Mr Macron told La Nacion, a newspaper in Argentina, in an interview released yesterday.

Mr Macron did not give details of what decisions he was referring to.

He is starting his South America stop with a one-day working visit in Argentina. Mr Trump and Mr Macron will be with the other Group of 20 leaders in Buenos Aires today and tomorrow. The two men will not have a separate bilateral meeting, according to their agendas.

Mr Macron is set to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping tomorrow morning and Russian President Vladimir Putin in the afternoon.

A threat of tariffs on imported cars, including European vehicles, has soured the relationship between the United States and Europe for several months.

Mr Macron reiterated his plea for "multilateralism and cooperation".

 
 
 

Leaders attending the latest edition of the G-20 in Buenos Aires face shared threats from issues ranging from trade disputes to migration and climate change, but are so lacking in common purpose that a blow-up looks more likely than a collective response.

"Let's not hide the seriousness of the situation," Mr Macron said. "What is at risk is a blockage of the world's multilateral forums like the G-20."

He pledged to push through his multilateralism agenda when France chairs the Group of Seven next year.

Tensions have been on show between Mr Macron and Mr Trump in recent months. They traded barbs on social media and in interviews this month about Mr Macron's call for a European army.

On Nov 13, Mr Trump took a swipe at France and the French President, implying on Twitter that the country needed the US to rescue it from the Germans in both world wars.

Mr Trump also mocked Mr Macron's approval rating. The French leader responded two days later, saying that allies "owe each other respect".

The heated exchange came after they met in Paris on Nov 11 on the sidelines of the World War I armistice commemorations.

Asked about the growing tension, the 40-year-old French leader referred to the countries' longstanding history, and said that strategic relations remain untouched, according to La Nacion.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 30, 2018, with the headline 'Trump's policies hurting European allies, says Macron'. Print Edition | Subscribe