A member of Germany’s ruling party has said that the re-election of Donald Trump in the U.S. election could endanger the alliance with Europe
A senior member of Germany’s ruling party of conservatives has delivered a stark warning on the future of transatlantic ties, saying that the re-election of Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election could endanger the alliance with Europe and open the door for China and other nationalist powers to try and fill the vacuum.
Norbert Röttgen, the chairman of the foreign affairs committee for the Bundestag, as well as one of three candidates in the running to become the next leader of the centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU), said in an interview with POLITICO that cooperation between Europe and the U.S. would be in serious jeopardy if Donald Trump wins in the presidential election on November the 3rd.
“The current American administration is driven by a logic of punishment whenever others do not abide,” Röttgen said. “It isn’t possible to build a partnership on this basis.”
This comes after Donald Trump, a self-proclaimed billionaire, had reportedly paid only $750 in federal income taxes in the year that he was elected the president of the United States, according to a New York Times investigation that could potentially shake up the U.S. presidential election.
Members of Germany’s ruling parties usually tend to avoid showing biases within American politics. Röttgen’s frank criticism, which he gave just weeks before the U.S. election, reflects both the nervousness in Germany over the prospects of a second term of Trump’s leadership and the levels of frustration over his first term as President.
“The U.S. would see its ability to take international leadership erode further,” Röttgen said. “A country that is internally divided and full of acrimony will at some point lose the ability to shape foreign affairs, so we’d see the American retreat from international politics continue, creating a vacuum that others would be more than happy to fill.”
“Should Joe Biden win, I would expect his government to return to a partnership based on rational thinking and cooperation”
Although Norbert Röttgen is considered to be a longshot to win the CDU’s leadership election, his candidacy has been seen as more possible due to recent international crises, such as the political upheaval in Belarus, which allowed him to put his foreign policy knowledge on display.
Winning the CDU leadership role would make Röttgen a leader in the candidacy race to succeed Angela Merkel following next year’s election, at which the current Chancellor of Germany has said she will step down.
This comes after a minister has suggested that tighter social restrictions could potentially be imposed if COVID-19 infections in the UK continue to rise. Helen Whately blames restrictions on household mixing as a newspaper says a government source claims the action “will have to come”.
Even as he predicted a fragile future for the transatlantic alliance if Donald Trump gets re-elected, Röttgen has said that a Joe Biden victory could present the opportunity for a new beginning for the relationship.
“Should Joe Biden win, I would expect his government to return to a partnership based on rational thinking and cooperation,” Röttgen said during the interview in his Bundestag office, recalling his interactions with the Democratic nominee when he was still a senator.
“A new American administration will understand that the goal shouldn’t be to force American positions on Germans and Europeans, but rather to find a new division of labour,” he said. “Both sides need to contribute.”