Europe Foreign Trade and International Economic Relations

America First, But Germany Second

If Trump wants a Europe that takes care of its own needs, he needs a strong partner in Berlin.

Donald Trump’s relationship with Angela Merkel has gotten off to a rocky start. Trump has, effectively, singled out Germany and its chancellor as his main nemesis in Europe. He has criticized her for her policy toward refugees, for an unfair trade policy, and for a lack of leadership in Europe. For its part, the German government, alongside many of its European … [continue reading]

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Business Cycles, Growth, Economic Structure Currency and Financial Markets ECB Economic Policy Europe Foreign Trade and International Economic Relations

Germany’s Misunderstood Trade Surplus

Now that Germany’s current-account surplus has reached a record €270 billion ($285 billion), or close to 8.7% of GDP, the ongoing debate about its economic model has intensified. Eurozone politicians and Donald Trump’s administration in the United States are each blaming the other for the economic imbalance; and all are blaming the euro.

Trump’s administration, for its part, has attacked Germany for exporting too much, and accused it of manipulating the euro. In fact, Germany’s trade surplus has little to … [continue reading]

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Economic Policy Foreign Trade and International Economic Relations

Germany’s Strange Turn Against Trade

This article was first published on Project Syndicate on June 6, 2016.

The window of opportunity to complete the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the United States and the European Union is closing quickly. National elections will be held this year and next in the US, France, and Germany, and the campaigns will play out in an environment that is increasingly hostile to international agreements in any form. The biggest risk might come from the least likely source: … [continue reading]

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Economic Policy Europe Foreign Trade and International Economic Relations

Investment, not the surplus, is Germany’s big problem

This article was first published on FT.com on 18th November 2013.

Germany is under attack from the US government, the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission for its huge current account surplus. The criticism is right, but for the wrong reasons. The surplus is excessive, but the accusation that it hurts Europe is nonsense. Worse, it distracts German policy makers from tackling the true cause of the national surplus and the country’s economic Achilles heel: its huge private investment … [continue reading]

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