Thanks to Donald Trump and his administration, the world is laughing at the United States.
Donald Trump's commerce secretary appeared by teleconference at a meeting in Germany and had his video-feed cut — a move reportedly greeted by laughter and applause from other world leaders.
Wilbur Ross was supposed travel to Berlin to attend the meeting of the Economic Council of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's political party. In what can be viewed as a gesture of respect to the United States, Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party scheduled Ross to appear immediately before Merkel herself.
However, Ross canceled his in-person appearance at the last minute and instead gave his remarks by live video. Ross used his speech to criticize Germany for its trade surplus with the United States.
After Ross had spoken for more than twice his allotted time, his feed was cut off mid-statement. Leader of the CDU Economic Council Werner M. Bahlsen commented:
That was the U.S. secretary of commerce, who had promised us a 10-minute statement. As you saw, he spoke a bit slowly, so it took a bit longer. Now we look forward to the chancellor’s speech.
Ross has previously made headlines by calling Trump an "environmentalist," joking that the U.S. airstrike on Syria was "after-dinner entertainment" for guests at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, and openly admiring the lack of free speech in Saudi Arabia.
Trump himself has previously characterized Germany — one of America's closest allies — as "evil" for selling "millions of cars" in this country.
During Trump's June 1 Rose Garden speech withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord, he posed the question, "At what point do they start laughing at us as a country?"
The answer is clear: Thanks to Trump and his administration, the world is already laughing at the United States.