Shortly after Germany retaliated to Trump's overnight press attack, when German economy minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Monday morning that Germans would gladly buy US automobiles if only America could "build better cars", and that - responding to Trump's criticism of Germany's "catastrophic" refugee policy - he said there "is a link between America’s flawed interventionist policy, especially the Iraq war, and the [European] refugee crisis", Merkel fired her own shot across the bow of Trump's proposed protectionism, when she told industry leaders late on Monday that she would remain committed to free trade, rebutting Trump's comments about a border taxes on car imports.
Taking advantage of the anti-populist wave stirred by Trump, Merkel, speaking to the German Chamber of Commence and Industry in Cologne, urged industry leaders to remain supportive of the German government in the forthcoming Brexit negotiations between Britain and the European Union. "We can't let anyone divide us," she said quoted by Reuters.
As far as free trade and open markets go, Merkel told the industrialists her government was prepared to fight to preserve them.
"We've got to fight this battle, if for no other reason than principle," Merkel said, referring to Germany's commitment to the free trade, and asking German business to "join her in defending liberal democracy and trade", saying “in every generation one has to fight for one’s ideals.”
"I'm ready for that," Merkel added.
This is a golden opportunity for the Brits...
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