German Chancellor Angela Merkel is embarking on a one-day working visit to meet President Donald Trump on Friday, harboring no illusions of matching the "special relationship" formed by France's Emmanuel Macron.
Touching down in the afterglow of her French counterpart's three-day visit, Merkel arrives in Washington to try to find a compromise with the president on a raft of divisive issues.
The Iran nuclear deal, the prospect of U.S. tariffs on European metals products and Berlin's military spending are all politically sensitive topics seen as likely to come up during Merkel's working lunch with Trump.
"Macron has a good personal relationship with Trump and Merkel has a bad relationship with him, but it's not necessarily a problem. In fact, I don't actually think she cares that much about it," Charles Lichfield, Europe associate at Eurasia Group, told CNBC in a phone interview on Friday.
"This trip is about damage limitation. We are almost in crisis mode with tariffs being threatened, so her focus has to be on that," he added.