Trade Dispute: Trump Told Macron the EU is "Worse" Than China

In a strong hint at what's going to happen next, Trump complained to French president Macron the EU is worse than China.

Please consider Trump tells Macron the EU is "worse" than China.

In their bilateral meeting in the White House's Cabinet Room, on April 24, Macron said to Trump, "Let’s work together, we both have a China problem," according to a source in the room. The source said Trump responded that the European Union is "worse than China."

"He then went on a rant about Germany and cars," the source added. (In their private meetings Trump has taken Angela Merkel to task for her country's tariffs on U.S. automobiles and the ease with which German carmakers like Mercedes, Volkswagen and BMW can sell into the U.S. market.)

Trump also says that America has a fairly balanced trading relationship with France but that the U.S-European trading relationship is very unfair.

US Trade With China"Eu

Germany Worse than China?

For some numbers please see U.S. Trade Deficit by Country, with Current Statistics and Issues.

  1. China - $636 billion traded with a $375 billion deficit.
  2. Canada - $582 billion traded with an $18 billion deficit.
  3. Mexico - $557 billion traded with a $71 billion deficit.
  4. Japan - $204 billion traded with a $69 billion deficit.
  5. Germany - $171 billion traded with a $65 billion deficit.

This is not even close. The US has an annual trade deficit with China of $375 billion but only $65 billion with Germany.

However, China's overall trade surplus is primarily with the US. China runs a deficit with much of the world.

Germany's Surplus Greater Than China

Reuters reports Germany trumps Asia with world's largest current account surplus

Ifo said the German current account surplus — which measures the flow of goods, services and investments — was the world’s largest for the second year running in 2017 at $287 billion, followed by Japan with $203 billion.

U.S. President Donald Trump has criticized Germany for doing too little to reduce its trade surplus with the United States, accusing Germany of “very bad” trade policies.

Ifo said China slipped to third place last year with a surplus of $135 billion, less than half Germany’s.

From that aspect, Germany is far worse than China, especially when one takes into account the size of the countries.

But what's the goal? Balancing global trade or the US deficit?

Penis Envy

The US combined deficit with Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Germany was $223 billion. The US deficit with China alone was $375 billion.

For now, Trump seems hell bent on punishing Germany. Perhaps it's penis envy. Germany has the largest in the world.

Tariffs on German cars coming up.

Whatever Trump's goal, his policies will cost the US.

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Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (15)
No. 1-15

Pretty sure balancing the US deficit isn't the goal, since it will reach nearly a trill this year, and should pass $1T annually by 2019 or 2020. If this is what striving for a goal looks like I'd hate to see the alternative.

Not sure what Trump's issue with German cars is, but he has apparently harbored it since his famed 1990 Mercedes rant at the latest. Perhaps as things were dwindling with Ivana, an alluring woman spurned his advances whilst hopping into an S-class? With Trump, that seems as likely an origin story as anything else.


Trump may indeed start a trade war. Even I didn’t think he was that stupid. However, he may prove me wrong.

Mike Mish Shedlock
Mike Mish Shedlock


I think it's pretty clear a trade war has started


Mish study up on the reciprocity agreements put into place between the US, Western Europe, South Korea and Japan after WW2. Trump is just going to make a few tweaks which should have been corrected a long time ago. All will be fine-MAGA.


Germany needs to brought to heal for the damage they have done to Southern Europe.