Germans yank U.S. commerce secretary mid-speech

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It showed Merkel's Christian Democrats at their highest support level since September 2015, shortly after Merkel's decision to open the doors to more than 1 million migrants, mostly from the Middle East and Afghanistan.

The attendees of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's political party's business conference in Berlin laughed and cheered when U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross's video address was cut off on Tuesday after Ross went over his time limit.

The US president, who was elected to the White House after campaigning on a protectionist platform, has recently set his sights on tackling America's trade imbalance.

US President Donald Trump called Germany's trade and spending policies "very bad" yesterday (30 May), intensifying a row between the longtime allies and immediately earning himself the moniker "destroyer of Western values" from a leading German politician.

Initial talks on the TTIP, which would create a huge free trade area on both sides of the Atlantic, came to a halt when Donald Trump won the USA presidency after campaigning on a protectionist programme. Look at the millions of cars they sell in the US.

Bent on tackling trade deficits, the Trump Administration now appears to have its heart set on reducing the trade imbalance with European Union states, Germany in particular, in the hope it can open up their markets for USA firms.

Mr Ross has previously said he hoped to complete by the end of June a national security study of the United States steel industry that could result in broad new steel import restrictions.

"We, as major trading partners of each other, should have a free-trade agreement", he said.

While blaming World Trade Organization rules for favoring exporters over importers, Ross agreed with Merkel that the USA and the European Union should resume talks on a free-trade pact.

The bill is widely supported by most parties and is expected to pass, particularly after Merkel gave members of her own party her blessing to vote their conscience.

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