Recently German Chancellor Angela Merkel has questioned whether America is still a reliable ally because of the Trump administration’s stance on global warming and free trade. Merkel contends that Trump’s failure to immediately accept the Paris Climate Agreement that the Obama administration negotiated along with Trump daring to point out the world leading trade surplus the German’s enjoy at the expense of the rest of the world are cause enough to question American reliability.
American hesitancy to endorse European led Climate agreements are nothing new. In fact it is par for the course that the Europeans are way out in front of all other nations in trying to regulate climate change prevention policies. US reluctance is also the norm, case in point, the US never voted on the forerunner to the Paris Agreement, the Kyoto Protocols, because the Clinton administration did not want to suffer the embarrassment of a lopsided vote against it in the senate. It was such a crushing defeat that this latest European initiative was specifically designed to bypass the American Senate. Using a familiar tactic in the European Union of bypassing national legislative bodies (in other words bypassing democracy) the Paris Agreement was labeled an “executive agreement” and not a treaty so as not to require a vote in the US Senate. This in spite of the fact that the agreement will act similarly to a treaty.
Germany should be hesitant of questioning American reliability because as noted above when dealing with climate change initiatives the US has been reliably skeptic on the issue for decades. To act as if this is something new is absurd. Trump should also point out that Germany is the country that has been unreliable in living up to its treaty obligations with regards to defense spending and NATO. In fact, one could easily argue that Russian aggression in Europe is a direct result of the embarrassing European wide military disarmament that has gone on for years now. To be blunt it is German unreliability on national security issues and German selfishness with their obscene trade surplus with the rest of the world that is the problem.