The traffic light teams have identified the cornerstones of their future trade policy. The Economy Minister praised the exit from the controversial energy certificate.
Economy Minister Robert Habeck described the agreement reached by the coalition as a milestone in reshaping trade policy and exiting a controversial energy deal. “We are consistently aligning our trade policy with climate protection,” the Green politician said in Singapore on Saturday. The agreement is a clear signal that the alliance wants to strengthen trade and partnerships based on fairness and sustainability. Habeck attended the Asia-Pacific Conference of German Businesses in Singapore.
Habeck called the withdrawal from the energy charter agreement logical. Greens and environmental groups have long criticized the deal. It allows investors, for example, to sue states before arbitral tribunals. Green Party leader Katharina Droz said no other trade or investment deal had caused more complaints from investors than the Energy Charter deal. No other agreement has been more damaging to the climate. He spoke of a “great signal” parallel to the World Climate Conference in Egypt.
“Especially in times of crisis, cooperation is the answer”
Habeck said that in order to strengthen trade relations, the partnership that enables free and fair trade with Chile and Mexico should be quickly concluded. In addition, the European-Canadian free trade agreement CETA should be quickly ratified and the partnership with the United States should be deepened. “Especially in times of crisis, the answer is cooperation, not retreat.”
MEPs from the Traffic Light Coalition announced on Friday that ratification of the CETA agreement should begin in the Bundestag within weeks. Germany should also work to talk to the US government about whether a new effort could be made for a transatlantic trade agreement. The EU and the USA have been negotiating the so-called TTIP deal for years. Negotiations stalled after Donald Trump took office.
Investment assurance is intended to promote diversification
An important issue at the Singapore conference is the question of how to reduce dependence on individual countries, for example for gas supplies from Russia or other raw materials from China. “Germany’s economic dependence on China is very high,” Habeck told news channel n-tv.de. In Singapore, the term diversity is at the center of debate. Foreign trade policy should be aligned in such a way that “we can become more resilient and avoid cluster risks in the national budget,” Habeck said.
The People’s Republic is an important trading partner for Germany, but has been criticized for human rights abuses, saber-rattling against Taiwan and its more probing foreign policy approach. With investment guarantees, the federal government wants to create an incentive for German companies to become active only in China.