At a meeting with European Union leaders, President Donald Trump reportedly called Germany very bad for selling millions of cars in the U.S.
The Germans are bad, very bad. See the millions of cars they are selling to the US. Terrible. We will stop this, Donald Trump said, according to German news magazine Der Spiegel.
The quote in the original report could also be translated as the Germans are evil, but the author clarified on Twitter that Trump actually used the word bad. Trump reportedly made the comments in reference to the trade surplus Germany has with the U.S., which Reuters says ballooned to 14 billion euros (roughly $15.7 billion) in the first quarter of 2017. According to Der Spiegels report, Trump called the trade balance between the two countries unfair, but EU commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker defended the Germans, saying free trade is good for all.
This isn't the first time Trump has taken a protectionist stance, of course. Trump has previously threatened to levy a 35-percent tax on cars manufactured in Mexico and sold in the U.S. The president told a German tabloid earlier this year he would tax BMWs imported to the U.S. BMW is currently building a plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. BMW builds a lot of its cars stateside, however. The automaker says it produced a record 411,171 vehicles at its Spartanburg, S.C., plant in 2016, which makes it the company's highest-volume producer of all its manufacturing facilities.