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President Donald J. Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel Strengthen the Close Relationship Between the United States and Germany

April 27, 2018

"The close friendship between America and Germany is built on our shared values. … It is the foundation of a very, very hopeful future." – President Donald J. Trump

A CLOSE AND HISTORIC RELATIONSHIP: The relationship between the German people and the United States predates America's independence and extends to the deep bond the two countries share today.

  • The United States and Germany form the bedrock of the transatlantic relationship and the NATO Alliance, based on shared values of freedom, democracy, and human rights.
  • On October 6, 1683, 13 German families landed in Philadelphia and went on to found the first German settlement in America: Germantown, Pennsylvania.
  • Today, there are more than 44 million Americans of German heritage, comprising the United States' largest ancestry group.
    • President Trump is the proud grandson of German immigrants to the United States.
    • Other notable Americans of German heritage include President Eisenhower, Neil Armstrong, Levi Strauss, Amelia Earhart, and Babe Ruth.
  • President Trump and Chancellor Merkel last met in July in Hamburg, Germany, when the Chancellor hosted the President at the G20 Summit.
    • This visit by the Chancellor will be her second to the White House during Donald Trump's tenure as President of the United States.

COOPERATION ON JOBS AND TRADE: The United States and Germany have a deep trade and investment relationship, and the President and Chancellor Merkel have worked to enhance economic cooperation through collaboration on apprenticeships and women's financial empowerment.

  • Germany has long been a leader with respect to its highly successful apprenticeship programs.
  • During Chancellor Merkel's March 2017 visit to the White House, President Trump convened a group of U.S. and German business leaders to join the Chancellor and the President for a discussion on vocational training.
    • At the meeting, major companies announced that they would train thousands through apprenticeship programs and invest hundreds of millions of dollars in training.
  • In Hamburg, the President joined Ivanka Trump and Chancellor Merkel to announce a $50 million contribution from the United States to an initiative to empower women financially around the world.
  • In 2017, Germany and the United States conducted over $237 billion in total trade in goods and services.
    • In 2017, the U.S. exported $53.5 billion in goods to Germany.
  • In the first two months of 2018, the United States exported $9 billion in goods to Germany, an increase of almost $1 billion over the same period in 2017.
  • In 2016, German direct investment in the United States was valued at over $372 billion, with $14 billion in new investment.
  • In 2015, U.S. affiliates of German firms employed over 670,000 American workers and invested $7.2 billion in innovative research and development.

A PARTNER ON INTERNATIONAL SECURITY AND COUNTERTERRORISM: Germany has been a valuable partner to the United States in the fight to eliminate ISIS and counter foreign threats.

  • Since 2014, Germany has pledged over $1.5 billion (€1.3 billion) for humanitarian assistance, stabilization support and development cooperation in Iraq
    • German forces are some of the most active participants in the Defeat ISIS coalition, providing support troops as well as manned reconnaissance and aerial refueling aircraft.
  • Since 2012, Germany has pledged more than $6 billion (€5.5 billion) in assistance related to the Syria crisis, including money for de-mining, and has helped lead the drive for European sanctions against the Assad regime.
  • Germany is the second largest troop contributor to NATO missions and is a framework nation in Afghanistan.
    • In March 2018, Germany approved a 320 troop increase for the NATO Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.
  • Since 2017, Germany has also provided $2.4 billion in development and security assistance to Afghanistan.
  • Germany also serves as a framework nation for NATO's enhanced Forward Presence on NATO's Eastern Flank and contributes 530 personnel to Kosovo Force (KFOR).
  • Germany, alongside France, headlines Western efforts to restore peace in Ukraine and ensure its sovereignty and territorial integrity under the framework of the Minsk Agreements.

Donald J. Trump, President Donald J. Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel Strengthen the Close Relationship Between the United States and Germany Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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