Ivanka Trump heads to Berlin for women's conference

The newspaper quoted a senior German politician as saying that Trump had repeatedly asked Merkel about signing a bilateral trade deal, but was told such an accord could only be negotiated by the EU.

Ms Merkel could be heard saying "Do you want to have a handshake" as Mr Trump briefly turned towards her before continuing to sit with his hands together and legs apart.

Mrs Merkel said: "I also feel very encouraged by my visit to the United States that negotiations between the European Union and the United States on a free trade agreement... are also being looked at".

According to the Times, the States could strike a free-trade agreement with the bloc now Donald Trump has had a change of heart on the issue.

The Sunday Times led with news that the United States would be trading with the European Union before Britain in the "queue" of trade deals which supposedly exists.

But German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Friday he was optimistic a U.S. -EU trade deal could be reached soon after he met his U.S. counterpart in Washington.

Trump says he will release tax reform package next week
Some deficit watchdogs, however, argue that past tax cuts haven't yielded the economic growth that proponents have promised . Trump's order directs Mnuchin to determine if the authority could lead to costs for the Treasury, and hence to taxpayers.

It has also been said that Trump was unable to grasp the concept of not being able to do an individual trade deal with Germany at his recent meeting with Angela Merkel, as she insisted and stated quite categorically that a deal could only be done with the European Union as a whole which of course Germany is just one member, albeit the main driving force of the entire EU.

Despite the frosty vibe of the photo op and the report that Trump presented Merkel with a bill for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation defense spending, the president told AP that he and the German leader got along famously.

"Those who have trouble understanding how trade surpluses and globalization effects are created are invited to come here and take a look", he said.

Speaking at a Brexit conference he derided Theresa May's plan to agree sweeping new global trade deals, describing the plot as a fanciful notion of a new British Empire.

"Because, um, I'm at odds on, you know, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation payments and I'm at odds on immigration", he said.

  • Regina Walsh