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Germany calls for dialogue on a free trade agreement with the United States

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German Finance Minister Christian Lindner has called for a new attempt to conclude a trade liberalization agreement with the United States, given Russia’s attack on Ukraine and the economic consequences of that attack.
Speaking to the Handelsblatt newspaper, the FDP politician said: “We should resume negotiations on a transatlantic trade liberalization agreement. It is precisely now in the crisis that it becomes clear how important free trade is with partners in the world who share our values.” .

“We should learn from the experiences of the Transatlantic Trade Liberalization Agreement negotiations,” added German Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Talks on the Transatlantic Trade Liberalization Agreement stalled in 2016 after the deal sparked widespread protests, particularly in Europe, in part because consumers and environmentalists feared it would dilute the high standards in place in the European Union.

For his part, the director of the German Center for European Economic Research (ZEW), Achim Fambach, believes that supply bottlenecks and strategic dependencies require “that we conclude more trade agreements in general, especially with allies such as the United States, instead of what happened in the past when we were upright. Stay tuned as we watch these deals get stymied until they’re doomed to fail.”

In addition to the war in Ukraine, experts also fear that China could separate economically from the West. Trade expert Vincent Stammer of the Kiel Institute for World Economy (IFW) told the newspaper: “If China breaks as a selling market, we must act first.” There is a greater need than ever for a trade agreement between Europe and the United States.”

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