Trump labels the European Union a ‘foe’

President Trump declared in an interview aired Sunday that the European Union (EU) “is a foe” because of its economic policies.

Asked by CBS News’s Jeff Glor what he considers his biggest foe globally, Trump cited the EU and its trade practices before mentioning Russia and China.

“I think we have a lot of foes. I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now you wouldn’t think of the European Union, but they’re a foe,” Trump said from his golf course in Scotland.


“Russia is foe in certain respects. China is a foe economically, certainly they are a foe. But that doesn’t mean they are bad,” he continued. “It doesn’t mean anything. It means that they are competitive. They want to do well and we want to do well.”

Trump in recent months has antagonized longtime U.S. allies — targeting Canada, the European Union and the United Kingdom in interviews and trade policy.

Trump has also railed against EU trade policies for months. His administration earlier this year implemented steep tariffs on imports from the EU, prompting retaliatory measures from the European governing body.

Trump on Sunday suggested it was difficult for him to take a harsh stance against the European Union because “both my parents” were born there. While his mother was born in Scotland, his father, Frederick Trump, was born in New York. Trump’s paternal grandfather was born in Germany.

“You know I love those countries. I respect the leaders of those countries,” Trump told CBS. “But, in a trade sense, they’ve really taken advantage of us, and many of those countries are in NATO and they weren’t paying their bills.”

NATO members do not pay bills to the organization or to any one country. Instead, they are responsible for allocating a certain amount of their budget toward defense spending. Countries have agreed to spend 2 percent of their respective gross domestic product by 2024.

However, Trump upended that agreement during last week’s summit, first saying that countries should increase the goal to 4 percent. Not even the U.S. currently meets that percentage.

He later demanded that NATO members meet the 2 percent threshold “immediately” rather than gradually raise their contributions.

The president has raised eyebrows in recent weeks as he ratchets up attacks on European allies, while showing reluctance to criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom he is scheduled to meet on Monday.  

Tags Donald Trump

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