Americans Like the No-Drama Merkel
Editor's Note: In an interview with Welt, GMF President Karen Donfried discusses the state of the German-U.S. relationship during the coronavirus crisis.
The United States and Europe benefit immensely from transatlantic cooperation, especially in the battle against a virus that knows no borders, says Karen Donfried.
Export bans of medical equipment “harm us all,” says Donfried. These measures “run contrary to the values that tie America and Europe together. We should all acknowledge that we are better off with free trade than with export bans.
As U.S. President Donald Trump has continued to pursue his “America first” strategy, Russia and China have filled the global leadership vacuum. In a diplomatic coup, they have sent medical equipment to European countries. “‘From Russia With Love.’ Brilliant!” says Donfried. Germany’s global standing has improved as well. “Many Americans have already held a positive view of Germany for a longer time. Now, they recognize how well Germany has dealt with the coronavirus crisis, which is reflected in the relatively low number of coronavirus-related deaths in the country.”
Germany’s performance in the crisis is party owed to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s fact-based crisis management. “At the outset of her fourth term as chancellor, both sides of the Atlantic called on Merkel to act more forcefully and to lead Europe. But that’s not her style. Now in the crisis, people came to value Merkel’s straightforward leadership, they like the no-drama Merkel. Simply put, her sober and science-based style is high in demand again,” says Donfried.