Trump's provocations are "destroying" growth, says German economy minister


Donald Trump in Washington, August 1, 2018. – REX / Shutterstock / SIPA

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier on Sunday attacked US President Donald Trump, denouncing his efforts and provocations in global trade to "impose" on Europe its markets with Iran through US sanctions.

In an interview with the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, Peter Altmaier warned of the detrimental consequences of a total Sino-US trade war and expressed concern about Trump's decision
 to impose tariffs on steel against Turkey, as part of an escalation of the diplomatic conflict.

"It's the consumers who suffer the most"

"This trade war is slowing down and destroying economic growth and creating new uncertainties," said Peter Altmaier. "The past has shown us that consumers suffer the most during trade wars, as consumer goods become more expensive."

President Trump has already imposed punitive tariffs on $ 34 billion of imported Chinese goods. Additional Chinese imports worth $ 16 billion will be taxed this month, and Beijing has threatened to retaliate. On Friday, Trump announced it would double tariffs on steel and aluminum from Turkey, resulting in the fall of the Turkish lira to its lowest against the dollar.

A pacification, however, sanctions between Europe and the United States …

German Minister Altmaier, however, welcomed the easing of tensions between Europe and the United States, after the agreement concluded between the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and Trump to avoid for the moment any increase customs duties on steel.

This agreement has "guaranteed hundreds of thousands of jobs in Germany and Europe", but it is only "a first step," he said. Bild. "In the end, we need global trade with low tariffs, with less protectionism and with open markets."

"We will not let Washington dictate our trade relations"

Referring to the US decision to reimpose US sanctions against Iran after Trump's unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal, Peter Altmaier stressed the importance of preserving business deals in Iran. A large number of groups, including the German automaker Daimler, have already announced their withdrawal from Iran as a result of these sanctions that prohibit any transaction made in dollars.

"We will not let Washington dictate to us our trade relations with other countries. That's why we support the Vienna nuclear deal, which prevents Iran from making an atomic weapon, "said the German minister. "Whether it's in Germany or Europe, we're looking at ways to keep the financial channels open," he said.

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