European Union, West slam Donald Trump
BRUSSELS/PARIS/TOKYO: Donald Trump came under attack from Western allies, with EU President Donald Tusk dubbing the new US President an "existential threat to Europe".
French Minister of Economy and Finance Michel Sapin said the Trump administration posed "a serious risk to world trade order" while Japan rejected Trump's charges of manipulating its foreign exchange market.
In an extraordinary attack on Trump, the European Union chief called Trump, elected as the US President on January 20, an "existential threat to Europe", the Independent reported.
In an open letter to leaders of the 27 member states, Tusk included the Trump administration as part of a group of "dangerous" challenges facing the bloc, citing Russia, China and radical Islam as other threats.
"The change in Washington puts the European Union in a difficult situation, with the new administration seeming to put into question the last 70 years of American foreign policy," Tusk said.
He issued a call for "political solidarity" before a summit in Malta this week where Europe's heads of states will discuss the future of the bloc.
The former Polish Prime Minister said that an assertive China, Russia's aggressive policy, "terror and anarchy" in the Middle East and "worrying declarations by the new American administration" put the future of Europe in jeopardy.
"The disintegration of the European Union will not lead to the restoration of some mythical, full sovereignty of its member states, but to their real and factual dependence on the great superpowers: the US, Russia and China."
Trump had earlier called Nato "obsolete" and dismissed the EU as a "vehicle for Germany" and said he's had "a very bad experience" with the EU as a businessman.
French Minister Sapin said the decisions of Trump's administration "pose a serious risk to the world trade order".
When the future of global trade was increasingly being questioned and trade openness caused dissatisfaction, "we are facing today a new wind of contestation of the benefits of commercial openness", Sapin was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.
He said this challenge leads in particular the US "to take unilateral protectionist decisions that could destabilise the global economy as a whole.
"Unexpectedly, it is China who poses as a defender of free trade on the international scene against the American withdrawal."
Japan on Wednesday rejected Trump's charges that it had been manipulating its foreign exchange market to devalue the yen.
Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga rejected Trump's charges as "completely baseless", Efe news reported.
Suga denied that Japan intervenes in the foreign exchange market. He said the country bases its monetary policy on the G7 and G20 agreements.
Trump said on Tuesday in New York that Japan and China were playing the devaluation market in recent years.
Suga added that Japan's financial policy was aimed at achieving consumer price index stability and not at bringing down the yen.
Trump had earlier criticised Japan and China for their monetary policies and said he intended to include clauses against currency manipulations in the event of negotiating trade agreements with the two countries.
The matter is expected to be discussed during the first official meeting between Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on February 10 in Washington which will focus on economic ties and their bilateral security agreement.