14:06 GMT +320 September 2018
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    French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Donald Trump confer at the start of the first working session of the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany, July 7, 2017.

    German Foreign Min. Says Washington Not Berlin’s Opponent Ahead of US-EU Talks

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    The statement comes ahead of crucial White House trade talks between Trump and European Commission President Jean Juncker amid the ongoing tariff row between Washington and Brussels, which raises fears of a trade war between the transatlantic partners.

    German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas launched a Twitter attack on US President Donald Trump on Wednesday, saying that "America is bigger than the White House".

    "For me, the USA is not an opponent but rather our most important partner and ally outside the EU. America is bigger than the White House. Trump will not change that either," Heiko Maas posted. "He can tweet as much as he wants."

    This rebuke raised the heat ahead of Wednesday's summit at the White House, which is expected to see Donald Trump have tough talks on trade with European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker.

    Earlier in the day, Donald Trump called for the removal of all US-EU tariffs to provide for what he called "free trade" as he was gearing up for the summit.

    The meeting with Juncker will take place nearly a month after Brussels rolled out $3 billion (2.5 billion euros) in tariffs on imports from the US, including jeans, bourbon, motorcycles, orange juice, rice and corn. The move came in response to Washington's unilateral decision to hit European aluminum and steel with import tariffs in June, citing "national security concerns."

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    Tags:
    row, dispute, trade, Heiko Maas, Donald Trump, Jean-Claude Juncker, European Union, United States, Brussels
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