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Businesses in the US: The magic has gone

August 28, 2018

The United States has become less attractive as a location for German businesses with a trade conflict between the EU and the US not fully resolved, the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany has found in a poll.

BMW plant in Spartanburg, US
Image: BMW AG

Presenting the results of a poll among its member companies, the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany on Tuesday said German firms had become less confident in doing business in the United States.

It said that over two-fifths of the companies polled stated the US had become less attractive as a business location in the wake of a trans-Atlantic trade conflict that looks defused for the moment, but by no means resolved.

While 82 percent of respondents acknowledged that economic relations between the US and Germany were still "strong or very strong," 42 percent of the German firms polled said the US had lost some of its former attractiveness to them.

Only 20 percent of the US firms polled said the same about Germany.

'Heed the warning signs'

AmCham Germany President Frank Sportolari said the results of the survey showed that US-German relations were still close and "able to withstand stress." He warned, though, that the emerging warning sign must not be ignored.

Sportolari said companies needed a high degree of reliability, transparency and a timetable for the settlement of bilateral trade issues.

Both German and American companies were skeptical that a recent deal between US President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker not to impose more tariffs for the time being would eventually result in resolving the trade conflict completely.

According to AmCham Germany's poll, 18 percent of German companies and 6 percent of US firms have already lowered their investments in projects in their respective partner nations.

WTO at a deadlock?

hg/ap (AFP, AP, Reuters)