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Fact Sheet: U.S.-German Bilateral Economic Ties

June 07, 2011

The transatlantic economy accounts for more than half of the world's trade and investment. The U.S.-German relationship is at the center of this economy. Since 1989, U.S. direct investment in Germany has more than quadrupled and German investment in the United States has grown seven-fold. Our dynamic economic partnership drives our mutual economic agenda. Bilaterally, and in U.S.-EU, G8 and G20 spheres, the United States and Germany cooperate closely. Areas of particular U.S.-German attention include:

•      Jobs: Exports to Germany support roughly 400,000 U.S. jobs. In 2008, 722,700 Americans worked for German headquartered companies (roughly one in every 150 Americans employed in the private sector). Around 70% of German companies already in the United States plan to create new jobs in the United States in 2011; the majority of U.S. companies in Germany also expect to increase their workforce in 2011. In the United States, employees of German companies earn wages and other forms of compensation more than 50% higher than the national average. American headquartered firms in Germany employ 671,500 Germans.

•      Investment Growth: Germany is among the top five largest sources of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States, with a total stock of $218 billion. Major recent FDI projects include ThyssenKrupp in Calvert, Alabama and Volkswagen (VW) in Chattanooga, Tennessee. ThyssenKrupp's $5 billion steel plant will employ up to 2,700 workers while VW's $1 billion automotive manufacturing facility will provide nearly 2,000 direct jobs and an additional 9,500 indirect jobs.

The United States is the largest source of foreign direct investment in the EU. The total stock of U.S. FDI in Germany reaches more than $116 billion. Some notable recent major investments include General Electric in Hamburg and First Solar in Brandenburg. Archer Daniels Midland will build a research and testing facility and Ford will construct a design, development, and testing facility. In order to promote global flows of FDI, the United States and Germany are collaborating to promote dialogue between developed and major emerging economies on international investment through UNCTAD and OECD, as well as through bilateral and other channels, including on the topic of sound market-oriented competition and investment challenges posed by state-owned enterprises.

•      Trade: Germany is the sixth largest export market for the United States. In 2010, U.S. goods and services exports to Germany rose to $73.5 billion. German goods and services exports to the United States in 2010 were $113.7 billion. German exports to the United States are larger than German exports to China and India combined. More than half the import/export market is between parent and subsidiary firms.

•      Reinvigorated Informal Commercial Exchange (ICE): The Department of Commerce and the German Ministry of Economics and Technology will re-launch the U.S.-Germany ICE this fall in Washington. Bilaterally, the productive ICE senior-level consultative mechanism aims to expand trade and investment. Specifically, ICE talks focus on new commercial opportunities, including project advocacy and business development and market access. ICE is also a platform for bilateral energy cooperation.

Barack Obama, Fact Sheet: U.S.-German Bilateral Economic Ties Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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