Merkel and Trump to meet in Washington17/03/17Defence
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to meet with US President Donald Trump in Washington, US, to discuss transatlantic trade and NATO ties.
Trump has caused concern in Germany by threatening its carmakers with tariffs and calling on Berlin to boost defence spending.
Merkel will be accompanied by top executives from German companies Siemens, Schaeffler and BMW.
Her visit was scheduled for 14 March but had to be postponed due to a snowstorm.
Ahead of today’s (17 March) talks, Merkel told a German newspaper she was looking forward to her first meeting with Trump.
She told Saarbruecker Zeitung: “It’s always better to talk with each other than about each other.”
During his presidential campaign, Trump threatened higher import taxes for countries such as Germany that have a trade surplus over America.
However, Merkel said there was a lot of direct German investment in the US.
She said BMW’s plant in the US exported “more cars than GM and Ford together” from the US, adding: “I’ll make that clear.”
The meeting has been highly anticipated as the two leaders have publicly differed on key issues.
In January, Trump said the German chancellor had made “a catastrophic mistake” by allowing hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants into Germany.
Merkel responded by saying the EU had to take responsibility for itself.
The two leaders are due to hold more than two hours of talks followed by a working lunch.
The agenda is also expected to cover foreign policy issues involving Russia, Syria, Iran, North Korea and the Middle East peace process.