Prime Minister Rutte vs. President Trump – What can we expect from the second meeting?

The Netherlands and the United States may butt heads again next week, when Prime Minister Rutte fronts the White House for his second-ever meeting with Donald Trump. The last time the two leaders met was last year.

The undoubtedly awkward handshake is scheduled to take place on July 18th, reports the NOS, however the agenda for the meeting remains to be known (although we’re predicting some #TrumpTweets will clue us in soon).

At this stage, we also don’t know who swiped right on the meeting first.

What will happen when Trump meets with Rutte again?

We’re expecting some possible points of conflict. The Dutch cabinet announced on Monday that after an American request they may send a frigate to the Strait of Hormuz, which is under possible threat from Iran. The U.S. has also previously voiced their frustration that the Netherlands fails to meet the NATO standard for defence spending.

Meanwhile, while the Netherlands is historically a staunch ally of the United States, the relationship has become strained since – you guessed it – Trump took office. The US’s trade policy, withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran, and shunning of the Paris climate agreement have all caused tensions to rise further.

It’s convenient meeting time for Rutte who will already be in the country on a three-day trade mission to Boston.

How did the last Rutte vs. Trump meeting go?

Last time the two leaders met, Rutte became our hero after he shut down the American president with some famous Dutch Directness, interrupting him with a firm “No” after Trump proposed it was a good thing that there was no positive solution for the trade-dispute between the EU and the US, a pretty touchy topic at the time.

Rutte also successfully combatted Trumps infamous handshake, managed to be mistaken by a famous U.S. media outlet as the Danish Prime Minister, and forgot how long the United States had been a country. Nobody’s perfect, right?

Will we be seeing Trump in the Netherlands anytime soon?

Trump could touch down for some stroopwafels and cheese soon – if he accepts the invitation from King Willem-Alexander that is. The royal invite coincides with the international commemoration of the Battle of the Scheldt on August 31 in Terneuzen in Netherland’s southwest.

However, Trump is yet to respond to the invitation – we’re hoping the King won’t end up being ghosted by the U.S. President. Trump may be distracted by some new conquests – such as inviting right-wing social media personalities and propagandists to the White House.

The move is being widely criticised, with the invites forming a social media summit – despite featuring no representation from Facebook – or even Trump’s favourite outlet, Twitter.

What do you think of the Dutch/United States relationship? Have any expectations for the next meeting? Share your thoughts in the comment below!

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Samantha Dixon
Sam isn’t great at being Dutch. Originally hailing from Australia, she came to study in the Netherlands without knowing where the country was on a map. She once accidentally ordered the entire ice-cream menu at Smullers. She still can’t jump on the back of a moving bike. But, she remains fascinated by the tiny land of tall people.

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