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Escalating: U.S.-German Trade Dispute Over Steel

27-06-2017  •  Uit deTrompet.nl

Part of Wilbur Ross’s commission as United States secretary of commerce is to make American steel production great again. Previously one of the greatest pillars of American industry, the steel production has for long lost its glory. The results of an investigation, ordered by President Donald Trump, indicate that cheap foreign imports threaten the national security of the States. The U.S. is now taking action to protect its industry and it faces strong opposition from Germany.

A letter from German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Brigitte Zypries, dated June 16, shows that Germany and the European Union “are stirring into a concrete trade dispute with the new American government,” German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (faz) wrote on June 19 (Trumpet translation throughout).

As Zypries wrote her letter, the final report from the U.S. Department of Commerce was ready for publication. As U.S. investigations indicated, “steel imports—including those from the EU—threaten the national security of the United States,” Zypries wrote, “We have also heard that tariffs and quotas are to be imposed to reduce imports.” The planned tariffs will undoubtedly help the American steel production regain part of its lost glory, but they will also significantly harm German and European industries.

Germany had feared that the U.S. under the Trump administration would take action to limit German exports. These fears have now been realized. However, the U.S. not only seeks to protect its business nationally but also internationally. Just a day before Zypries wrote her letter to Washington, the U.S. Senate agreed to impose new sanctions on Russia. The passed bill also includes sanctions that would intervene in the building of energy export pipelines into Europe, which will also harm German and European firms involved in Nord Stream 2. These sanctions will not only harm Russia and Europe but also make American gas imports more attractive.

Germany, however, is unwilling to give up its trade supremacy without a fight: “Germany threatened on Friday to retaliate against the United States if new sanctions on Russia being proposed by the U.S. Senate end up penalizing German firms,” Reuters wrote on June 16. Zypries told Reuters that if President Donald Trump ends up backing the sanctions, “we’ll have to consider what we are going to do against it.”

Notice what Trumpet writer Brad Macdonald wrote in our April issue of the Trumpet magazine:

Germany and Europe might have been shocked by some of President Trump’s decisions, but they’re not sitting around feeling sorry for themselves. On the contrary, they are exploring new partnerships and opportunities and preparing for greater competition with America.

The dispute over steel imports and gas exports are only a sign of more to come. In the end we will see Russia and other Asian nations and Europe lay an economic siege around the Unites States, so says your Bible. To understand how the latest trade conflicts fit into the greater prophetic picture, read our article “Trade Wars Have Begun.” 

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