11% of Germany’s total exports are destined for the U.S.
On Monday, Carl Martin Welcker, the head of Germany’s engineering trade body stated a fresh attempt should be made at hammering out a free trade agreement between the European Union and the United States.
Last month, U.S. President Donald Trump had announced a 10% tariff on aluminum and 25% on steel for EU exporters, in what he described as an attempt to balance unfair international competition.
“Nobody can have any interest in an escalation of trade disputes in which all sides – the United States, China and Europe – stand to lose at the end,” said Welcker at the Hannover Messe trade fair.
The EU has dragged the U.S. to the World Trade Organization (WTO) for these tariffs.
“The U.S. President has made a lot of waves with his erratic trade policy and the announcement of a number of tariffs. We are very concerned about that,” added Welcker while saying the U.S. appears to be turning its back on the WTO.
Welcker’s call for renegotiating a free trade agreement gains importance since the U.S. is the most important export market for German engineering firms and accounts for nearly $22 billion (18 billion euros), or 11% of its total exports.