The Chancellor emphasized after the visit to the US President, especially the differences with his host.
Compliments were exchanged at the beginning of the White House meeting. Donald Trump praised the tender age of 32, with whom Sebastian Kurz leads the Austrian government. The chancellor, in turn, thanked him for being there. in the interview Kurz was shortly before the seers but then visibly at a distance to the country’s less popular US president.
The protectionism of Trump and his government team “makes us very worried,” Kurz said. Punitive duties against Europe could trigger a negative spiral, which also costs Austria jobs. “He seems to have a special eye on Germany ,”said the ÖVP chief. After meeting with Trump, he still could not rule out “that tariffs are coming”.
Also on military spending, where Trump is putting strong pressure on his NATO partners to increase their defense budgets, Kurz sees major divergences. Austria would rather spend more money on research, education and homeland security. He was, unlike Trump, for dismissal instead of rearmament.
The question of whether European countries, as Trump recently demanded, would withdraw their jihadists who fought for the Islamic State in Syria, was not an issue, Kurz said on a similar question. “I would not have promised him,” Kurz said. The topic is complex, and security in Austria is a priority.
Whether the relationship between Austria and Russia is now better than the US? Kurz did not want to affirm that, as a neutral and export-oriented country, one cultivates relations “in all directions”.
And so Kurz was also very pragmatic with regard to the Trump administration. Despite all disagreements, an invitation to Vienna was pronounced. A yes from the White House or even an appointment but there is none for the time being. Kurz, however, wants to accelerate the visit to the United States by a large business delegation, including President of the Economic Chamber Harald Mahrer.