WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said in an interview aired on Sunday that he considers the European Union an adversary of the United States.
The president spoke to CBS Evening News anchor Jeff Glor from his Turnberry golf club in Scotland, where Trump was spending a few days between last week’s NATO summit in Brussels and official visit to the United Kingdom and his meeting Monday in Helsinki with Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
“I think we have a lot of foes,” Trump said in response when Glor asked him to name his “biggest foe globally right now.”
“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,” the president said.
“Russia’s a foe in certain respects,” the president told CBS. “China is a foe economically, certainly they are a foe. But that doesn’t mean they are bad. It doesn’t mean anything. It means that they are competitive. They want to do well and we want to do well.”
The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on imports from EU countries, China, and even Canada and Mexico, prompting retaliatory measures by those nations.
Before and during the NATO summit, the US president again berated European nations for falling short of the alliance’s goal to have all member-states devote 2 percent of GDP to the military.
“I respect the leaders of those (European) countries,” Trump said in his exchange with 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.”