U.S. criticism Merkel Rejects Trump Advisor's Currency Accusations

Chancellor Angela Merkel has rejected charges made by Donald Trump's trade adviser that Germany is using a “grossly undervalued” euro to exploit the U.S. and its E.U. partners.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaking during a joint news conference with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven in Stockholm.

Chancellor Angela Merkel was quick to rebut currency accusations by Donald Trump's administration. Speaking in Stockholm on Tuesday, she has rejected charges made by Donald Trump's trade advisor that Germany is using a “grossly undervalued” euro to exploit the U.S. and its E.U. partners.

Peter Navarro, the head of Donald Trump's new National Trade Council, told the Financial Times that the euro was like an "implicit Deutsche Mark" whose low valuation gave Germany a competitive advantage over its main partners.

Mr. Navarro also claimed that Germany was one of the main hurdles to a U.S.-E.U. trade deal and that talks over a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) were dead, the Financial Times reported.

During a joint press conference with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected the remarks.

"Germany is a country that has always called for the European Central Bank to pursue an independent policy, just as the Bundesbank did that before the euro existed," Ms. Merkel said, according to news agency Reuters.

The Chancellor emphasized that German companies instead attempted to persist on the world market with competitive products and via fair competition.

Germany once again emerged as capital export world champion in 2016, according to preliminary calculations by the Munich based economic research institute Ifo. Germany’s current account surplus is expected to have totaled $297 billion (€268 billion ) in 2016, compared with $271 billion in 2015. China ranks second with an anticipated current account surplus of $245 billion.

Germany’s current account surplus is expected to have risen to 8.6 percent of its annual economic output in 2016, versus 8.3 percent in 2015, research institute Ifo said. The E.U. sees a maximum figure of 6 percent as sustainable in the long term.

In stark contrast, the Ifo report estimates that the United States had the largest trade deficit in the world in 2016, spending $478 billion more on imports than it earned from exports.