German Chancellor Angela Merkel zinged the Trump administration over threatened tariffs during a speech at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday and the audience erupted in applause — except for Ivanka Trump, who remained stone-faced as she listened to the translation via headphones.
In a repudiation of President Donald Trump’s “America First” attitude, Merkel urged strong international alliances, continued contributions to development in struggling countries and international economic cooperation.
Merkel said she was “shocked” that the Trump administration was considering labeling German cars a “national security threat” to the United States. Trump has declared some imports, such as those from China, as national security threats as a way to unilaterally impose tariffs.
Germany’s car industry has created more than 113,000 jobs in America in some 300 factories. In fact, the BMW plant in South Carolina is “actually the largest“ in the world, Merkel said. “So [if] they are supposed to be a threat to the national security of America, it’s a bit of a shock to us.”
The crowd laughed and applauded and her comments. The first daughter didn’t crack a smile — or clap.
The audience gave Merkel a standing ovation at the end of her speech. That response was in marked contrast to its reception of Vice President Mike Pence, who spoke after the chancellor. When he brought greetings from the president, he was met with a resounding silence.
Check out Merkel’s entire speech in the video above. Her comments on the “security threat” of German cars manufactured in the United States — and Ivanka Trump’s response — can be seen beginning at 31:46.