Today, AmCham Germany is publishing a position paper with policy recommendations for the next German government on the occasion of the federal elections in September. In the position paper, AmCham Germany explains how to implement the revitalization of the transatlantic partnership and ensure Germany's economic strength through transatlantic cooperation.
AmCham Germany focuses on the following recommendations for policy action:
-Necessary commitment to a tariff moratorium and clear roadmap for the elimination of all trade barriers
-Development of a transatlantic data room to legally secure data transfer between the EU and the US
-Ensure competitiveness of Germany as a business location through vigorous reforms
AmCham Germany specifically recommends that the German government advocate a moratorium on all tariffs and punitive trade measures by the EU, as well as a clear roadmap from the EU Commission to unilaterally reduce all tariffs if necessary. "We now need a clear signal to dismantle trade barriers quickly and consistently. Policymakers must ensure the framework conditions for cross-border free trade. To deal with the effects of the pandemic, cooperation is needed, not seclusion," says Daniel Andrich, General Manager of AmCham Germany.
Another focus of the next legislative period should be a common digital agenda. The most important measure is the creation of a transatlantic data space for European and US companies, in which international data transfers are possible in a legally secure, sustainable manner and at an equivalent level of protection. "The current legal uncertainty is doing serious damage to companies. All the more reason why we need a transatlantic data space with the aim of ensuring that the EU and the US remain competitive and innovative," affirms Daniel Andrich.
The engagement with China should be another priority on the agenda of the next federal government. China's managed economy, the role of state-owned enterprises, the rather involuntary transfer of technology, and the inadequate protection of intellectual property are leading to tensions in the multilateral trading system. Germany must work with the EU Commission and EU member states to develop a long-term strategy for dealing with China. "Close coordination with the US is necessary to tackle distortions of competition and create framework conditions for rule-based global competition between companies," explains Daniel Andrich.
Increasingly negative rating: Germany must be strengthened as a business location
This year's Transatlantic Business Barometer of AmCham Germany has demonstrated that the business location conditions in Germany urgently need to be improved. Over the past four years, the member companies surveyed by AmCham Germany have given Germany an increasingly poor rating as a business location. Whereas in 2018 around 90% of respondents rated Germany as a very good or good business location, this year the figure is only 63%. The companies see challenges in particular in the digital infrastructure, labor and energy costs, and corporate taxation.
"For Germany to remain competitive and innovative, action is needed from all political leaders," says Daniel Andrich. Now is the moment for Germany to initiate powerful and bold reforms to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic and achieve tangible improvements for businesses.