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Germany Says U.S. Under Trump Must Abide By Trade Deals

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Germany Says U.S. Under Trump Must Abide By Trade Deals

Germany, Trade

BERLIN (Reuters) – Washington must stick to international agreements under the presidency of Donald Trump, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Friday, but does not expect a major trade war despite the President-elect’s attack on German car makers.

Trump – now hours away from his inauguration – has vowed to make sweeping changes to U.S. trade policy, and economists see his protectionism as the biggest risk to U.S. growth.

“The United States also signed international agreements,” Schaeuble told magazine Der Spiegel.

“I don’t think a big trade war will break out tomorrow, but we will naturally insist that agreements are upheld,” he said.

Trump criticized German auto makers this week for failing to produce more cars in the U.S. and warned that he would impose a tax of 35 percent on vehicle imports.

U.S. companies employ more than 600,000 people in Germany, the United States’ biggest European trading partner, and German firms employ roughly the same number in the U.S.

Schaeuble said he wished Trump luck if he wanted to tell Americans which cars to buy. “That’s not my vision of America and I don’t think it’s his either,” he said.

He also recommended not taking Trump’s practice of tweeting policy changes too seriously.

“One shouldn’t confuse Trump’s form of communication with statements of government policy. We will not participate in that,” he said.

Trump has triggered concern across German industry.

“Protectionism will not secure jobs in the medium- to long-term,” Dennis Snower, president of the Institute of World Economy, said in a statement.

“Trump is making foreigners the scapegoat for the fact that the American dream of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps isn’t working anymore.”

Marcel Fratzscher, head of the DIW economic institute, said Trump’s protectionism would not bring any jobs back to the U.S.

“On the contrary, he will destroy even more jobs,” he told German broadcaster MDR.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Germany also urged Trump to stick to free trade agreements, underscoring the importance of U.S.-German trade relations.

“Protectionist measures like tariffs and or the cancellation of international trade agreements have no place in a globalized world,” said the group’s president, Bernhard Mattes.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Louise Ireland)

IMAGE: German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a news conference following talks with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, June 2, 2016. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke 


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  1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth January 20, 2017

    I was perusing an article which appeared in a 1970 Baha’i publication containing a comment on “The Tablet To The Hague”, a letter addressed by Abdu’l Baha acting as successor to lead the Baha’i Community, by virtue of Baha’u’llah’s “Kitab-i-Ahd([Book of the Covenant], to a committee at the League of Nations shortly after the conclusion of WW1.
    In this Tablet, Abdu’l Baha lauded the leaders of the world for seeking to heal the wounds left by the War, and admonished them to insure the peace by means of a comprehensive accord to insure that nations will work together to prevent further catastrophes.

    Unfortunately, the meeting called for in Paris was under the auspices of a nascent body(The League of Nations) that was purely political. Since there was no spiritual underpinning which would have bound the hearts together more tightly, the secular approach to peace fizzled out quickly.

    In the aftermath of giving scant attention to the Tablet, old resentments arose, and new ones as a result of Germany’s humiliation of the Treaty of Versailles came into existence making way for the fruition of the nationalist tendencies in post-World War 1 Germany. Nazism gained control leading to WWII.

    In each case of recent conflicts in Europe, America, and the rest of the world, materialist concerns were foremost, fueling increased nationalist tendencies in both hemispheres leading to further rigid isolationist leanings.

    And now comes Trump, who from the git-go talks about “America First”, “Make America Great Again”, and other strident insular messages that resonate with people whose notion of relationships across the globe is the outgrowth of a philistine concept of what it means when God describes us as all being the product of His Will and Purpose, i.e., that humanity should see itself as One family with global connections.

    Connections which Donald and the GOP want to disrupt and/or sever altogether. Which will increase tensions across the world, and be a potential for a new outbreak of war from which we may never recover.

    “The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established. This unity can never be achieved so long as the counsels which the Pen of the Most High hath revealed are suffered to pass unheeded.”
    (“Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh”, p. 286)

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  2. FireBaron January 21, 2017

    Teflon Donnie, like his other idol – The Fat Kid in Pyongyang, does not believe that an treaty or agreement signed before his Presidency came into office has any validity.


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