For Immediate Release: April 6, 2011
Contact: Lorri Crowley (202) 482-3809
Commerce Trade Official Advances U.S.-German Economic Relationship
BERLIN – The United States and Germany today agreed to reinvigorate the U.S.-German Informal Commercial Exchange (ICE) process through talks in fall 2011. Michael Camuñez, assistant secretary of Commerce for market access and compliance, announced the decision following meetings with Knut Bruenjes, Germany’s Minister of Economics and Technology deputy director general, in Berlin.
“Today’s commitment to resume ICE talks reaffirms the strong U.S.-German bilateral relationship,” Camunez said. “These talks have historically been a useful vehicle to promote trade and investment, and to discuss and resolve important market access issues.”
The announcement came at the conclusion of Camuñez’s policy mission to Germany, where he met with key government and industry leaders to strengthen the U.S.-Germany economic relationship.
While in Germany, Camuñez delivered keynote remarks at the Hannover Messe North American Global Markets Forum. Hannover Messe is one of the world’s largest industrial trade fairs, with 5,600 exhibitors and more than 200,000 participants.
U.S.-German foreign direct investment was the focus during Camuñez’s discussions with Volkswagen’s senior level management board. Volkswagen is currently building a plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. The facility will produce a new mid-size sedan designed specifically for the North American market, and create more than 2,000 American jobs. Production is scheduled to begin in late 2011.
“U.S. foreign direct investment in Germany totals in the billions of dollars in diverse sectors such as pharmaceuticals, IT, biotech, auto parts and services, and renewable energies,” Camuñez stated. “We welcome German investment in the United States.”Last year, U.S. exports to Germany totaled more than $48 billion, an increase of 11 percent from the previous year. In 2010, the United States imported more than $82 billion from Germany, an increase of 15 percent from the previous year. U.S. direct investment in Germany in 2009 topped $110 billion, while German direct investment in the United States exceeded $215 billion. More than 670,000 Americans work for German companies, while 800,000 Germans work for American companies.
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