‘The Germans are bad, very bad’ – President Trump…

As part of his continuing programme of How to lose friends and alienate people, German magazine Der Spiegel quoted Trump at the G7 meeting as saying: “The Germans are bad, very bad. Look at the millions of cars they’re selling in the U.S. We will stop that.”

A particular target seems to be BMW, from CNN:

Trump has taken aim at German carmakers before. In an interview in January, he said Germany’s BMW (BMWYY) should reconsider building a plant in Mexico, where it plans to start assembling the BMW 3 Series sedan in 2019.

“I would tell them, don’t waste their time and money — unless they want to sell to other countries,” he said. “But I would tell BMW if they think they’re gonna build a plant in Mexico and sell cars into the U.S. without a 35% tax, it’s not gonna happen.”

Trump does not seem to realise the largest BMW plant in the world is actually in South Carolina. BMW actually produces more cars in the US than it sells in the US.

BMW’s largest plant in the world is in Spartanburg, S.C., that employs 8,800 workers. The facility assembled more than 400,000 X model crossover vehicles last year, 70% of which were shipped to other countries. In fact, BMW is the largest U.S. exporter of cars. BMW builds far more cars at its U.S. plant than it sells here. In 2016 it sold 288,000 in the U.S.

Also President Trump seems unaware that German companies create a lot of jobs in the US, also from CNN:

Speaking before she met Trump in March, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “There are about 750,000 jobs created by German companies in the USA. If you multiply that by two or three, you can see that over 1-2 million jobs depend on German companies.”

The Independent reports that last month Angela Merkel had to explain the fundamentals of EU trade to Donald Trump 11 times.

“Ten times Trump asked [Ms Merkel] if he could negotiate a trade deal with Germany. Every time she replied, ‘You can’t do a trade deal with Germany, only the EU,'” the official told The Times.

“On the eleventh refusal, Trump finally got the message, ‘Oh, we’ll do a deal with Europe then.'”

For fans of politics, Trump continues to be the best soap opera in town.

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  • Zorin001

    Are you trying to tell me that Trump doesn’t have a comprehensive grasp of politics and global economics?

    Claude Rains, gambling, shocked etc.

  • Jag

    Yeah, laugh at the buffoon. The cartoon nincompoop. The billionaire who’s built and bought billions worth of prime commercial real estate, and started countless businesses, married the trophy wives, became president of the USA. The eejit.

    Trump will always be looking for a deal, and okay, Frau Merkel mightn’t be able to do a unilateral trade deal between the EU and US (though Germany does have disproportionate weight in the workings of the EU) but you can do things around the edges, like encouraging German companies to site factories in the US rather than Canada and Mexico, in return for access to the world’s biggest economy. Trump mightn’t be polished but he understands business.

  • Brian O’Neill

    We can argue about the merits of Trump all day but the bottom line will be has he improved the lives of ordinary Americans?

    So far he has ruined Americans reputation aboard. He has cost the American tourism industry billions:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/after-trumps-travel-ban-tourism-outfits-say-that-brand-usa-has-taken-a-hit/2017/04/14/d0eebf4e-158e-11e7-833c-503e1f6394c9_story.html?utm_term=.72fff23367ee

    He will be responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans by by removing insurance from 23 million people http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-40032893

    What happened to all the plans to put Americans back to work? Were is the promised infrastructure spends? So far all he has tried to do is reduce taxes for the rich (and himself) and tried to increase military spending that is already obscenely large
    http://www.pgpf.org/sites/default/files/0053_defense-comparison-full.gif

    He will be judged on his record and so far it is abysmal.

  • Gary Thompson

    I suggest you do a bit more digging into the Donald’s business dealings. As far as I can see he makes most of his money from franchising his name to other developers to put on their buildings, leveraging his ‘fame’. I seem to recall he has gone bankrupt more than once running casinos in (I believe) Atlantic City. It takes a rare sort of genius to lose money running a casino. Also, he started with a yuge fortune inherited from his dad, so he’s far from self made. Do you not think it’s a bit odd he still hasn’t shown his most recent tax returns?

  • Brian O’Neill

    He is the worst example possible of a business person. No ethics at all. For example he is notorious for not paying suppliers http://fortune.com/2016/09/30/donald-trump-stiff-contractors/

  • Jag

    No disrespect Brian, but you remind me of those suspect reviews on Tripadvisor where EVERYTHING about a restaurant was bad, the service, the prices, the clientele and to cap it all, it gave you food poisoning. Yeah, no restaurant is that bad; it just wouldn’t survive.

    Neither is Trump *that* bad.

    As for his businesses, he acquired a golf resort in county Clare down South a few years ago, invested significantly in it, and it’s a tidy little business giving lots of employment and generating wealth for Doonbeg and attracting Yanks by the jetload to Shannon. No word about not paying suppliers at all….

  • Brian O’Neill
  • Jag

    “The Trump organisation purchased the property for a reported bargain €15 million in February 2014 and Eric Trump said on Thursday that the Trump firm has invested close to €25 million into upgrading the resort during 2014 and 2015….Eric Trump says company expects to report operating profits in second half of 2016”

    Yes, that’s the very one. The Trumps got a bargain, invested heavily, paid suppliers on time, created a world-class resort which is an incredible success.

  • tim plum

    Actually we have no idea how much the abomination is worth. He started with daddy’s money and has actually made less than he started with.

  • tim plum

    The answer as an American is no he is destroying America from the inside out. Xenophobia, racism, bigotry and an incredible lack of basic governance, world events, math are a few of his many, many faults.

  • Alanbrooke

    you studiously avoid his comment on the Germans

    did the Germans treat Ireland correctly during the financial crisis ?

    are they treating Greece correctly today ?

  • Kevin Breslin

    Trump is German?

  • Brian O’Neill

    His grandfather was a draft dodger who was banned from Germany https://www.aol.com/article/news/2016/11/22/donald-trumps-grandfather-was-banned-from-germany-for-avoiding/21611305/

    Donald continued the family tradition by also dodging the draft. To be honest I can’t hold that one against him I would have done the same. http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/article/2015/jul/21/was-trump-draft-dodger/

  • BonaparteOCoonassa

    The really interesting thing about those ‘defence’ spending figures is that Russia and China appear to get value for money, while much US spending is wasted in pork barrel contracts. Immense sums are spent such as on the new carrier and destroyer and the F35, but the end result is unreliable, needs constant additional spending to keep it viable, and ulitmately is not as effective as the competition.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Leaving the Trump bashing aside for a moment; was he not instrumental in changing New York City from being the backdrop for ‘The Warriors’ and ‘Escape from New York’ to ‘Sex and the City’ New York? I know Gulliani gets a lot of credit but I’m pretty sure Trump’s (self serving) wheeling and dealing was a genesis for the NYC we know today.

  • Old Mortality

    He’s a bad example simply by being a property developer. We used to have a lot of them in these parts. Laughably, some of them even thought they were entrepreneurs. It’s the lowest from of business life in that any idiot can do it and many do. The same could be said for retail.

  • eamoncorbett

    If those returns show dealings with Russian banking oligarchs then we’re in for a long summer . The son in law seems to know a few of these guys as well.

  • eamoncorbett

    It might make money if he can get permission to halt coastal erosion on the west side of the course , this would involve building a wall .
    Maybe Mexico could oblige with a 2 for the price of one deal.

  • Croiteir

    He needed to see to what extent Merkel would move. He needed to see what wriggle room there would be. He was trying to see what could be achievable. If you think that someone who has lost and built fortunes which most of us cannot contemplate does not understand the rules f the EU then Trump is not the fool. And of course he thinks a major competitor is bad, if he believes the advantage is heavily on their side, he wants to balance that. And that is the correct thing for him to be trying.

  • Croiteir

    He needed to see to what extent Merkel would move. He needed to see what wriggle room there would be. He was trying to see what could be achievable. If you think that someone who has lost and built fortunes which most of us cannot contemplate does not understand the rules f the EU then Trump is not the fool. And of course he thinks a major competitor is bad, if he believes the advantage is heavily on their side, he wants to balance that. And that is the correct thing for him to be trying.

  • chrisjones2

    When the UK leaves Germany will be picking up much more of the EU Bill, funded by that trade surplus. She who pays the piper …….

  • chrisjones2

    He still made the billions suckers!

  • chrisjones2

    I can think of a few worse ones …most of whom are bankers of facilitators who engage in dubious development deals or the sale of assets

  • chrisjones2

    But can they do it and make money?

  • chrisjones2

    “already obscenely large ” – was part of his manifesto so if you disagree get elected as President and change it

    “What happened to all the plans to put Americans back to work?”

    Been in office 5 months and is still wading through the swamp created by the Democrats. +He has started to make a number of major changes that will have an impact but building plant and turning things around takes time

    You need to realise the extent to which the left wing American Press will do anything it can to undermine him. A good example is the recent investigation into the links with Russia. If you Google this you get hundreds of stories but when Matthers gave evidence before a house committee this week he said that he has read all the evidence held by the FBI and to date there is no evidence of any crime by Trump or any member of his team.

    Some of them met the Russian Ambassador, for example, but so what ? Thats perfectly normal – indeed we should all be talking all the time – but some malicious elements in the US want to conflate that with corrupt collusion for their own ends. Others are desperate for Russia as an enemy for their own budgetary reasons or ideology.

    Many of these are Democrats desperate that the graft flow has been cut off. Others are republicans with personal grievances . We have seen some of that this week with the Manchester leaks from within the CIA or FBI. The system has worked well for years so why should it break down now? Its simply malice or corruption

    I think Trump is crass at times, almost an Uncle Buck type figure. But he has some impressive record in making money he has been elected and needs a chance to see what he can do to rebuild America after the collapse of Hope under Obama.

    I also think that when he says the swamp in Washington needs drained he is right and that swamp is far more dangerous than he is

  • chrisjones2

    Which is why Labour committed to buy the F35!

    PS have you seen the position with our new Destroyers and Frigates? The A400 Shambles – though we share that one with the French?

  • chrisjones2

    Absolutely …and Ireland is weathering it. The state of Greece shows that it should never have been allowed into the Euro and should be ejected as soon as possible and in a way that cushions the Greek people

  • grumpy oul man

    The slightest understanding of the EU and how it works would mean that ny informed person would know that their is no wriggle room and wouldn’t try to find some.

  • whatif1984true

    I think that Trump is not so much railing against particular foreign companies as against the lack of American owned/based manufacturers and the stategy of moving jobs to other countries.

    In economic theory we are taught that if 2 countries produce a unique product each (which they can do better/cheaper than the other country) then it is good that they specialise in that product and export it to the other country. This is instead of each producing the 2 products for their own consumption with no exports.

    The flaw is that if the GDP of the 2 countries becomes unequal (assuming equal populations) then there is imbalance. In global manufacturing there is no mechanism to balance out the transfer of manufacturing from one country to another.

    More crucially if the manufacturing is owned by people in country A but transferred to country B, then the workers in A have no jobs but the owners in Country B get richer. Owner/Manufacturers in country A can maybe ignore selling their product in country A as they have the rest of the world as their market.

    Its a gross simplification but we can see that the rich get richer and the poor poorer and to add insult to injury the company owners in country A who have put their workers on the dole do not pay tax on their profits so further impoverishing their ex-workers by reducing the money available to help those out of work etc.

  • whatif1984true

    The EU may have regulations but anyone who thinks that all member states implement them equally (if at all) is not in the real world. It is not so much wriggle room but an ability to turn a blind eye to numerous regulations covering all aspects of commerce, finance and social behaviour.

  • John Collins

    In regard to Greece I think you are spot on. The sight of women working in the fields, often on their own, while the men sipped coffee in roadside cafes and ‘reflect’ on the state of the World, is a vision of Greece we all have. Also any state which encouraged people to retire at 50 could not thrive in the modern world.

  • whatif1984true

    Tesco take 105 days on average to pay suppliers (as at NOV’16). Late payment is endemic in the UK.

  • Am Ghobsmacht
  • chrisjones2

    “the abomination”

    His third post ever and already its the hate speech.

    Mind you his second did refer to “baby killing ammoosexuals” so at least he spreads the hate about.

    Sounds awfully like a disgruntled Hilary voter

  • chrisjones2

    How shocking …he spoke to Russians.

  • chrisjones2

    He was classified medically unfit. Are you suggesting the medical was rigged? I do think you need to be clear on this otherwise its just comes across as personal.

  • chrisjones2

    Oh come on …..how do you know what China and Russia get or even spend.

    As for VFM that rather depends on whether the weapons work. Witness Syria recently where Assad, defended by the latest Russian missile system, couldn’t keep out the US cruise missiles some of which seem to have been a stock clearance of 1990s models

  • chrisjones2

    “has he improved the lives of ordinary Americans?”

    You do realise the the blessed Obama ever with ObamaCare and Hope presided over the first major fall in US life expectancy since the Vietnam war

  • John Collins

    And unemployment dropped from 11 to around 5% during his tenure, despite Fanny May and Co.

  • tim plum

    Yes. 5 deferments. Bad knee? Looks okay walking golf courses every weekend on my dime.

  • tim plum

    Possibly setting up a “back channel” BTW thats against the law and speaking to Russians in a manner that circumvents US law is against the law.

  • tim plum

    So Repubs set up 7 committees and spend millions to investigate Benghazi and thats okay but potential treasonous acts are not to be investigated? The US had constant job growth and better relations around the world under President Obama. Sorry you really need to read less right-wing propoganda and watch less Murdoch owned media.

  • tim plum

    Not hate, reality. I choose to not call him by name as President.

  • Salmondnet

    Obviously a great loss to The Navy SEALs then. So few could pass a rigorous fitness test like that.

  • grumpy oul man

    If your saying rhat the USA and any single EU country can make a deal outside the EU framework then i think your wrong, would you have any examples to show is.

  • The worm!

    I’m sure he’ll be badly put out!

  • The worm!

    It was loosing money because he was investing in it.

    No difficult to see for anyone with the slightest titter of business wit!

  • Croiteir

    Are you able to do a medical not only distant in terms of space but also in time? That is a rare talent indeed.

  • Croiteir

    He joined the gold rush by the account you gave, and he sought repatriation but was refused, that makes the grandfather a draft dodger? To me it makes him adventurous and a go getter. Maybe the grandson has inherited those traits?

  • Croiteir

    The would not try to see what can be done to rectify a trade imbalance without resort to other methods? Certainly they would. The problem here was the autocratic Merkel.

  • tim plum

    No. Widely reported during the election on his deferments.

  • grumpy oul man

    And the rules of the EU.
    Germany (or any orher EU state cannot make a deal with another country without it satisfying the conditions of EU menbership.
    Merkel was pointing out the rules to Trump.
    That Trump doesn’t seem to understand this says more about his lack of knowledge than it does about any supposed autocratic tendency within Merkel.
    But give us some examples of EU states making international deals outside the EU framework.

  • Reader

    grumpy oul man: …would know that their is no wriggle room and wouldn’t try to find some.
    The wiggle room lies in the fact that the rules apply to Germany, not to the USA. So the USA can put up whatever barriers it wishes, and Germany can only respond. Or, in discussions with the USA, Germany could prevent that by leaning on its own industries to find a comfortable balance point.
    Naturally, Germany’s exterior relations are controlled by the EU, but it has its own interests and its own internal levers.

  • grumpy oul man

    But of course Donald would know ( we hope, but maybe he doesnt know) that the EU wouldn’t be inpressed at all with what would amount to sanctions against a member state and they might decide in kind.
    You have to assume that Donald himself has interests in europe and might be less than eager to pay punitive taxs on the profits made by them and of course a import tax on Americian goods into Europe. might not go down too well with the people whose livelihood depends on selling things to Europe.
    Of course your right America could (if congress agrees) to impose a higher rate of tax on german made goods but the EU can do the same on americian goods .
    And i dont think anybody wants a trade war, i suspect when somebody explains this to Donald he will come round and see sense.

  • whatif1984true

    No I wasn’t but there is more than one way to skin a cat. Not everyone plays with a ‘straight bat’ you know old chap.

  • whatif1984true

    I agree the media is truly against him. The hate and fake news is not however new. When Obama was elected there were huge chunks of the population who were incensed to the point of madness, they generated a lot of hate.
    Politics in USA can be very brutal and it is reflected in their media.

  • aquifer

    German engineered cars are mostly good, very good, and EU efficiency standards help make them even better. No surprise that GM Vauxhall are baling out of the UK.

  • grumpy oul man

    What ways, i would be very interested in examples or even suggestions about how this would happen.

  • Stifler’s Mom

    You’re quoting Washington Post and the BBC. Both are anti populist propaganda machines. Ridiculed on the internet everyday.
    For ordinary Americans, just look at job creation, and unemployment rate being the lowest in the last 10 years.

  • chrisjones2

    Who said that ….but there is NO EVDIENCE. In benghazi there were the bodies

  • chrisjones2

    Hmmmm but life expectancy fell

  • chrisjones2

    “No surprise that GM Vauxhall are baling out of the UK.”

    Just like the bailed out of Sweden and will do the same in Germany . Its about rationalisation and cutting production costs

    By the way Nissan are even more efficient i terms of vehicle performance and ahead of many German companies in battery technologies – in partnership with Renault. Then the Chinese are coming up fast as are the Koreans but they can give perhaps a better mix of low cost and high efficiency

  • chrisjones2

    By the Democarts …yeah

  • chrisjones2

    I always understood the basis of the family money was bars and ‘adult entertainment’ in the far west during the Gold Rush

  • Croiteir

    Fits the timeline, but also fits the vilification

  • chrisjones2

    “BTW thats against the law”

    Really? What law?

    “speaking to Russians in a manner that circumvents US law is against the law.”

    Have you ever read the US constitution? The only breaches of the law I can see was in the Obama administration where US citizens having perfectly legal conversations with foreigners had their calls legally intercepted by NSA. The law requires that in these cases the identity of the US party is ‘masked’ if the material is used. But the US parties then were illegally ‘unmasked’ at the behest of members of the Democratic Party looking for political ammunition for the election

  • chrisjones2

    Wasnt it also a model for GTA at one stage

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    GTA?

  • Brendan Heading

    I think it’s cute the way you think Trump is working to some kind of policy or plan.

    On the other hand, it’s bizarre that someone would try to argue that a billionaire is automatically an expert on politics and diplomacy when it is overwhelmingly obvious that he knows nothing about either each time he opens his mouth.

  • Brendan Heading

    There are international trading rules and agreements that prevent stuff like this. Sure, Trump could flout them; then you’re into the world of WTO sanctions. It’s anyone’s guess whether the USA would benefit from the collapse of the global trading system they largely architected, but I think it’s safe to bet that they wouldn’t.

    Also, I’m not sure how well it will go down with GOP voters that they’re not allowed to by BMWs, Mercs, Audis or Volkswagens anymore.

  • Brendan Heading

    How shocking …he spoke to Russians.

    Colluding with a foreign country against the interests of your own is a very serious crime.

    Have you ever read the US constitution

    There are laws in the US that lie outside of the constitution. Specifically, in this case, the Logan Act (look it up).

  • Brendan Heading

    How do you know there is no evidence ?

  • Croiteir

    I think he is pompous oafish boor, his pushing aside and puffing himself up at a recent photoshoot told me all I wanted to know, but at the same time I will not allow myself to jump to the other extreme and condemn everything he does just because it is Trump. Is that cute enough for you or is it bizarre that I don’t jump on popular bandwagons that just happen to be rolling past.

  • Patrick Rooney

    take a look at how Ireland does tax deals with US companies…Microsoft, Intel, Apple…