What's wrong with Trump and Germany
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Germany and the United States of America have a long, grown friendship. They share many common experiences, values and interests, even if there is sometimes controversy. Germany owes a lot to the USA: After the Second World War, the USA provided economic aid and political support with the Marshall Plan. Without the United States as the guarantor of freedom in the decades of the Cold War and without American support in German reunification, this reunification in freedom would not have been achieved.
The partnership with the USA will continue to be of paramount importance for our freedom, security and also for our economic success in the future.
An elementary pillar of the bilateral relationship is the transatlantic security community (NATO), which is of outstanding importance for us Germans. The extensive security cooperation between Germany and the USA has continued to develop in terms of its priorities, including the fight against international terrorism.
The bilateral relations are currently shaped by the relationship between Germany and the USA as a trading partner, as a value partner, but also as a partner in strengthening security and stability in regional and global crises.
The close contacts between the two countries are maintained through regular visits by Chancellor Merkel, Federal Foreign Minister Gabriel and other cabinet members to the USA. Chancellor Merkel last traveled to Washington on March 16, 2017 for the first meeting with the new President Donald Trump, while Foreign Minister Gabriel met his counterpart Tillerson there on February 2, 2017. Conversely, US Secretary of State Tillerson took part in the G20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Bonn on February 16 and 17, 2017. Vice President Pence traveled to the Munich Security Conference on February 17, 2017. President Trump is expected at the G20 meeting in Hamburg in July 2017. Another important element in bilateral relations is the intensive exchange of views between German and American parliamentarians.
Against the background of German history, the relationship with the approximately six million Jewish Americans, a considerable part of whom are of German origin, is of particular importance. The Federal Government and the Bundestag maintain intensive contacts with the American-Jewish organizations and place great value on dialogue with them in order to actively deal with the crimes of the Nazi regime, to make amends as far as possible and to promote mutual understanding.
German-American economic relations are another essential pillar of bilateral relations, cover almost all sectors and are largely problem-free. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which has been negotiated between the EU and the USA since 2013, may open up additional opportunities. The USA is the largest buyer of German exports, Germany is the USA's most important trading partner in Europe. In terms of the total volume (imports + exports) of bilateral trade in goods in the USA, Germany still ranks fifth after Canada, China, Mexico and Japan. In Germany, bilateral trade in goods with the USA takes first place. Bilateral trade in goods amounted to around USD 174 billion at the end of 2015.
Germany and the USA are important investment locations for each other: the bilateral investment volume amounted to USD 363 billion at the end of 2015 (German direct investments amounting to USD 255 billion; US investments in Germany: USD 108 billion).
At the end of 2015, American direct investment in Germany fell to around US $ 108 billion compared to the previous year (around USD 115 billion). The stock of direct German direct investments in the USA at the end of 2015 was around US $ 255 billion, up on the previous year (around US $ 224 billion). Germany is the seventh largest foreign investor in the USA, after Great Britain, Japan, the Netherlands, Canada, Luxembourg and Switzerland. Germany ranks eleventh in terms of US foreign direct investment.
culture and education
The cultural relationships are diverse. Hundreds of thousands of people travel across the Atlantic every year - as tourists, participants in numerous exchange programs or as artists, scientists, schoolchildren and students.
Around 17 million American soldiers have lived with their families in Germany since the Second World War, learned to appreciate Germany and brought the 'American way of life' to Germany. After Spanish and French, German is the third most widely learned foreign language in private secondary schools and at colleges and universities.
About 50 million or 15 percent of Americans say they are of German descent. However, German-Americans do not represent a closed interest group. Numerous German-American associations are dedicated to the maintenance of customs.
The military relations between Germany and the USA are shaped by shared values, bilateral deployments and, above all, joint operations. German military contributions in the context of crisis and conflict management are not only militarily relevant for the United States, but also of great importance in terms of military policy. After the USA, Germany is the main partner in Afghanistan in the “Resolute Support” (RSM) mission. Germany's contribution to the anti-ISIS coalition and training support in Northern Iraq has also received a high degree of recognition on the US side.
Germany is and will remain one of the largest deployment locations for the American armed forces outside the United States and the largest within Europe. The only two military regional commands of the US armed forces not stationed in the USA (out of a total of six) are located in Stuttgart (USEUCOM and USAFRICOM). The largest military hospital in the USA outside of its own country is located near Landstuhl and is the first station for US soldiers who are wounded in action.
In Newport, Wales (2014) and Warsaw, Poland (2016), the NATO member states decided, among other things, to strengthen the eastern flank of the alliance. Germany and the USA are making substantial contributions to this. These include the presence of military units in Poland and Lithuania as well as the improvement of military capabilities and the coordination of exercise projects in Eastern Europe (Transatlantic Capability Enhancement and Training Initiative, TACET). The TACET concept is being further developed and, as a consequence of the growing cooperation, used for joint exercises, an intensive exchange of experience and the further development of operational procedures. Conversely, soldiers of the German Armed Forces in the USA are trained in facilities of the American armed forces, regularly take part in joint exercises and work integrated in staffs in both the USA and Germany. Since autumn 2014, the prominent position of Chief of Staff at the headquarters of the US Army in Europe, based in Wiesbaden, has been held by a German general. At the same time, Washington expects European NATO members to make progress in improving their military capabilities. President Trump urges NATO allies to make greater contributions to security policy, in particular an increase in defense spending.
There is also close cooperation between the two countries in the defense sector. A German liaison office for arms matters in the USA and a number of liaison officers at important American agencies are an expression of the intensive cooperation.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs / As of April 2017
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