German audience laughs after Trump Cabinet member's address cut off

German Chancellor Angela Merkel bottom left attends the transmission of a speech of US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on screen during a reception of the Economy Council of the German Christian Democratic Party in Berlin Germany Tuesday

German Chancellor Merkel's party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), has long prevented same-sex marriage legislation from passing in the country's legislature, but Merkel seems to have softened on the issue, arguing that politicians should be free to vote based on personal beliefs rather than the party line. "Now we look forward to the chancellor's speech".

Germany is set to legalize same-sex marriage Friday after a heated spat sealed an election-year divorce between Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and her center-left governing partners.

In his remarks, Ross, who had pulled out of a physical appearance at the last minute, was reiterating President Trump's criticisms of Germany's trade surplus.

"As your biggest customer, we hope to attain a larger share of your market", Ross told the meeting over a video link from Washington, D.C., according to Deutsche Welle.


However, Ross sided with Merkel saying the USA and the European Union should restart Transatlantic Trade an Investment Partnership (TTIP). The Trump administration made a "conscious decision not to walk away from" the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, Ross said.

"My vision of globalisation is that in the global and interconnected world we need a rules-based trade system where all sides can win", Merkel said.

The Trump administration who announced war on trade deficits now thinks that agreement would allow it to reduce the imbalance with the European Union, particularly with Germany, by opening more markets to United States companies. If a vote takes place, it is expected to pass, as nearly all other political parties represented in the German parliament support gay marriage, and at least a quarter of Merkel's own party will likely also vote in favor.

The bill is widely supported by most parties and is expected to pass, particularly after Merkel gave members of her own party her blessing to vote their conscience. It's a rare point of agreement on trade policy between Trump and Merkel, who will be key players when G-20 leaders seek to agree on shared goals. Merkel is seeking re-election for a fourth term in September.

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