5/08/2018

*GERMANY'S TRADE FEARS GERMINATE*


BERLIN : As Europe's biggest exporter to the United States and with more than one million jobs at stake. Germany is desperate to avoid a European Union trade war with the United States.

In the run-up to a June 1 deadline for US President Donald Trump to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on the EU, Berlin is urging its European partners to show some flexibility and pursue a broad trade deal that benefits both sides.

But that puts Germany at odds with European peers such as France. Paris, the other half of the motor driving European integration, resents Berlin's big trade surplus and wants a tougher EU stance against the US tariffs.

''There is a great danger of slipping into a trade war that way,'' Holger Bingmann, president of Germany's BGA foreign trade association, said.

Mindful of the data from the German-American Chambers of Industry and Commerce that shows more than 1 million  German jobs are directly or indirectly dependent on exports to the United States, he cautioned against  EU threats of counter tariffs.

''That way, the Europeans would only embrace the logic of protectionists,'' he said.

The European Commission has said the EU will set duties on 2.8 billion Euros {$3.36 billion} of U.S. exports, including peanut butter and denim jeans, if its metal exports to the US, worth 6.4 billion euros are subject to tariffs.

Berlin is pushing the idea of an agreement to lower tariffs across a broad spectrum of products, especially in manufacturing.

''We can negotiate......but we should talk about all industrial tariffs.'' said a senior German official.

A French official said there must first be a permanent and unconditional exemption for the EU from the steel and aluminum tariffs, adding:

''That's the prerequisite for any other option.''

Such differences risk driving EU countries apart, weakening their bargaining position with Trump playing into his hands as he tries to make U.S. businesses more competitive globally. [Reuters]

The Publishing of this Operational Research continues to Part 2.

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