It’s a subtle change in language that reveals just how global alliances are shifting under President Donald Trump. German Chancellor Angela Merkel presented the conservative Christian Democratic Union election manifesto on Monday and amid talk of tax cuts and a boost in security, there was a slight change in wording: The United States was no longer described as a friend. Four years ago, the joint program of the CDU and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, referred to the United States as Germany’s “most important friend” outside of Europe. Now? The United State is Germany’s “most important partner” outside of Europe.
That was not the only change in the wording that reveals a shift in relations with Washington. The 2013 program also described Germany’s “friendship” with the United States as a “cornerstone” of the country’s international relations. But now, any reference to the words “friend” and “friendship” have been nixed from the program, Reuters reported.
Although Merkel’s party has not commented on the shift, the change does seem to line up with those of German citizens. A Pew Research Center poll released last week showed only 35 percent of Germans have a favorable view of the United States, down from 57 percent when Obama was president.
Opinion polls suggest Merkel will easily win a fourth term in office in September.