As Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel met with US President Donald Trump for the first time, the BDI president warns against protectionist tendencies.
“It is commendable that Donald Trump has expressly distanced himself from an isolationist stance. The US must not close itself off economically or politically. I was very impressed by the Federal Chancellor’s clear commitment to continuing the free trade negotiations between the EU and the US. In view of the rising protectionist tendencies around the world, the US needs to remain actively engaged in the international arena.
Unfortunately, a clear commitment to close economic cooperation, so eagerly awaited by the transatlantic community of values and the entire global economy, was not expressed. But no man is an island – that also applies to the US and to President Trump. Not just Germany and Europe, but the US, too, would benefit from closer cooperation. German subsidiaries already employ almost 700,000 people in the United States. This makes Germany the third largest international employer in the US.
Our companies are helping to strengthen local industry there, for example with their outstanding commitment to further training to prepare people for developments such as the digital transformation. It was great to see German business leaders reporting live in the White House on their activities in the US and how they are training people, making investments and creating jobs. But they will only be able to continue doing so in the long term if the US does not establish new trade barriers or disrupt or complicate the global division of labour. The trade relations between Germany and the US drive up investments and secure jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.”