Politico | 7 November 2022
Germany wants new trade talks with US after midterm elections
BY HANS VON DER BURCHARD
The German government wants the EU to enter swiftly into renewed trade talks with the U.S. following the midterm elections on Tuesday, a spokesperson said Monday.
"There is a desire to have conversations [with the U.S. administration on a new trade deal] and move forward quickly," deputy government spokesperson Christiane Hoffmann told reporters in Berlin, adding this was important to the government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
Asked whether Berlin believes the conditions for starting such talks will exist after the midterm elections, which are expected to lead to a weakening of U.S. President Joe Biden’s political position, Hoffmann said: "We assume that we can enter into discussions there."
Officials in Berlin have previously expressed hopes that such trade talks could help to resolve growing tensions about the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act, which Berlin and Paris as well as other EU capitals see as distorting competition between the U.S. and Europe.
The strong support for such trade talks coming from Germany, the EU’s leading economy, is significant as the country was the heartland of public protest against previous negotiations for a deal with the U.S., the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which ran from 2013 to 2016.
Talks for TTIP broke down about six years ago, as political support from Germany faded, especially from Scholz’s Social Democratic Party (SPD). The election of former U.S. President Donald Trump eventually dealt a death blow to TTIP.
German Finance Minister Christian Lindner from the trade-friendly Free Democratic Party (FDP), who has been advocating for new trade talks with Washington for months, told German daily Welt on Monday that such renewed negotiations should be "not a repeat of the failed TTIP efforts, but a consequence of the changed world situation and the new partnership of values."