German audience laughs after Trump Cabinet member's address is cut off

Wilbur Ross U.S. secretary of commerce speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills California U.S. on Monday

German audience laughs after Trump Cabinet member's address cut off

Merkel said, "I use it sometimes. then I enter Donald Trump on Twitter and I have it all" — a remark that drew big laughs from the audience at a Berlin theater where the chancellor was interviewed.

"That was the USA secretary of commerce, who had promised us a 10-minute statement", Werner M. Bahlsen, head of the CDU Economic Council, told the audience Tuesday evening. "Now we look forward to the chancellor's speech".

Trump has expressed frustration with Germany, following reports that its trade surplus over the USA previous year amounted to some $65 billion (57 billion euros). US Trade Minister Wilbur Ross, who has canceled attendance at the forum, addressed video commentators, reiterating US willingness to protect themselves from the "dumping practices" the country is suspected of, in particular, steel and aluminum.

However, Ross sided with Merkel saying the US and the European Union should restart Transatlantic Trade an Investment Partnership (TTIP). Germany, which has a record trade surplus, is the target of a new American administration accusing it of unfair competition.

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

The commerce department is invoking a Cold War-era trade law that allows the president to limit imports of certain products and materials deemed critical for national defense. If a vote takes place, it is expected to pass, as nearly all other political parties represented in the German parliament support gay marriage, and at least a quarter of Merkel's own party will likely also vote in favor. Trump said Germany is selling too many cars in the USA, which hurts the American automotive industry. "Very bad for U.S. This will change". One of his first acts as president was to withdraw the USA from a similar free trade deal with the Asia-Pacific region.

Angela Merkel has claimed that meeting a lesbian couple made her re-think her long-standing opposition to gay marriage.

Forsa said 52 percent of those polled would back Merkel for a fourth term if the chancellor were elected directly, a drop of 1 percentage point, compared with an unchanged 22 percent who would back SPD leader Martin Schulz, the former president of the European Parliament.

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