US President Donald Trump on Friday dismissed the notion that he was an “isolationist” in his policies, asserting that he believes in free but fair trade and a stronger America was in the interest of the world.
“My administration is in the process of rebuilding the American industrial base. A stronger America is in the interest, believe me, of the world as a whole,” Trump told reporters at a joint news conference with the visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Germany and the United States, he said, must work together towards fair and reciprocal trade policies that benefit people of both the countries.
“Millions of hard-working US citizens have been left behind by international commerce, and together, we can shape a future where all of our citizens have a path to financial security. The United States will respect historic institutions and we will also recognize the right of free people to manage their own destiny,” Trump said.
He rejected a description of his policies as “isolationist.”
“I’m a free trader but also a fair trader,” he said.
On immigration, another issue dividing Merkel and the new US president, Trump said immigration was a “privilege” and not a “right.”