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German Economy Minister targets compromise with US amid trade tension

Europe
31.03.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Berlin (dpa) - Germany‘s newly-minted Economy Minister, Peter Altmaier, has stressed the virtues of open markets and expressed confidence that Europe and the United States can reach a compromise on trade in his first major interview since taking office.

In an interview published in German news magazine Der Spiegel on Saturday, Altmaier said the EU and the US had agreed to work together against overcapacity in steel markets, and would seek a unified stance against dumping prices and intellectual property theft.

"I am confident that the EU and the US can come to a sensible compromise by summer," Altmaier said when pressed on US President Donald Trump‘s ongoing threat to impose tariffs on European steel and aluminum imports.

In Altmaier‘s view, growing protectionist tendencies resembling those of the 1930s raise the prospect of "the largest setback to international trade for 40 years."

"We must do everything to stop it," he added.

In terms of domestic policies, Altmaier rejected the idea of universal basic income, and prioritized entrepreneurial innovation and investment over redistribution of wealth.

"We don‘t want to divide up the cake differently, but rather make it bigger for everyone," he said.

 

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