German Chancellor Angela Merkel and United States Vice President Joe Biden in 2015.
CHRISTOF STACHE | AFP | Getty Images
President-choose Joe Biden’s signaling of a shift in America’s diplomacy goals is welcome news in Berlin, where German authorities have actually stressed over tariffs for the last 4 years.
Biden stated he will turn away from outbound President Donald Trump’s “America First” technique to a more outward-looking U.S. that appears excited to lead, and to accept its international allies as soon as again.
“America is back — we’re at the head of the table again,” Biden informed NBC News in his very first interview given that being validated as the next president.
“I’ve spoken with over 20 world leaders and they are pleased and somewhat excited that America is going to reassert its role in the world and be a coalition builder,” he included.
Europe definitely breathed a sigh of relief at Biden’s election win, having actually experienced 4 fractious years with the Trump administration, which appeared poised to slap tariffs on European cars and truck imports, a relocation that would have dealt a blow to the area’s cars and truck market, and a specific hit to cars and truck exporter Germany.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel “very warmly” invited Biden’s win, and acknowledged that her nation required to handle more duty within the transatlantic collaboration. “America is and will remain our closest ally, but it expects more from us — and rightly so,” Merkel stated on Nov. 9, including that Germany is “working on it.”
Relief at Biden’s election is prevalent in the German Parliament, with authorities seeing Biden as an opportunity to reset relations.
“We were relieved that the (election) results are as they are,” Peter Beyer, a political leader within the judgment Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the planner of transatlantic cooperation in the federal government, informed CNBC recently.
“We are looking forward to what some people are calling a new start, a reset in transatlantic relations. One thing I think that one can say for sure is that we will have better communication, whereas Donald Trump was treating his allies almost sometimes like foes.”
Biden’s win has actually restored hopes of a U.S.-EU trade contract after a previous effort to reach such an offer, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), ended in failure in 2016 after 3 years of settlements.
European Commission President Ursula van der Leyen warned that a fresh technique was required on trade, and stated the EU must take the effort to construct bridges with the U.S. “We know that we cannot turn the clock back. Not on trade, not on TTIP,” von der Leyen stated numerous weeks ago in a speech at the EU ambassadors’ conference.
“We cannot go back to the exact same agenda we had five years ago. We should not fall into that trap. We need a fresh approach. Because the world has changed and so have the United States and so has Europe.”
Beyer concurred that as “trade is a key issue across the Atlantic, we shouldn’t waste time to dream about transatlantic nostalgia, the TTIP times didn’t come true or become a reality.”
“Joe Biden has said he would do a ‘stock-taking’ with regards to the competitiveness of the United States so it will take some time until he will turn to a negotiating table with the Europeans. In that time, we need to rephrase our proposals from the European side, and make new proposals that are both realistic and ambitious,” he stated.
Bones of contention
The Trump administration was combative about dealing with trade imbalances in between the U.S. and other international economies such as China and Europe, slapping billions of import tariffs on exports from both.
A Biden presidency is not most likely to entirely take the pressure off Europe in regards to trade, nevertheless, and there might be bones of contention along with points of typical interest, such as countering the ever-growing financial and political may of China, a nation that Beyer called the “geo-politic and geo-economic challenge of our times.”
“I expect that there will still be some tensions over trade and economic policy between Germany and the U.S.,” Andrew Kenningham, chief Europe financial expert at Capital Economics, informed CNBC. “The EU has plans to more strongly regulate and tax the mainly U.S. tech firms such as Amazon and Google etc. And perennial trade disputes e.g. between Boeing and Airbus are not going to go away,” he stated.
“However, the end of the Trump administration all but eliminates some tail risks for the next few years at least. In particular, there was a possibility that Trump would follow through on his threat to impose tariffs on EU auto exports,” he stated.
Yet, under Biden, an anticipated return “to more traditional U.S. international economic policy will be very welcome in Germany,” Kenningham kept in mind. “In terms of policy, Germany is strongly committed to multilateral cooperation and organisations … and is also strongly opposed to protectionist policies.”
“That said, the direct economic impact of a Biden presidency on the German economy will be small. Trump’s trade wars were targeted mainly at Mexico (initially) and China. The only significant tariffs on the EU were on steel and aluminium, the impact of which on Germany was small.”