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Habeck is on a mission to the moon in the United States of America

Habeck is on a mission to the moon in the United States of America

The Minister of Economic Affairs is visiting a country where business is done differently than at home. Habeck's mission: make the relationship Trump-proof. Two astronauts help.

When you go on a mission to the moon, you better have astronauts by your side. Federal Minister of Economy Robert Habeck (The Greens) stuck to this rule. Although he did not want to fly to the Earth's satellite, he chose a similarly difficult mission. In the United States of America He is trying to strengthen relations with the American government and economy in such a way that they can support a second presidency Donald Trump can survive. He is accompanied by German astronauts Alexander Gerst and Matthias Maurer on his several-day journey. In space travel, it's like… Policy And in business. The Americans are the leaders, and the Europeans are the junior partners. “We have to be careful not to get left behind,” says astronaut Gerst.

The question of stepping back is also Habeck's theme. in Federal government The truly shocking moment is when Trump regains power in the White House after the presidential election at the beginning of November. Because at this moment no one knows what will happen next. It is possible that Trump will deprive allies in old Europe of the protective shield of American power, leaving them helpless in the storm of global politics. Or hit the Europeans with punitive tariffs, as he did in his first term in office.

Habeck: Trump ruined everything

At the German ambassador's residence in Washington, Habeck's first stop, the Vice Chancellor uses clear words. Under Trump, he says, “all forms of conversation have basically been destroyed.” “Nationalism is harmful. We see tendencies towards isolation everywhere. This is not good.”

The minister decided to prepare for Trump's victory. The 54-year-old wants to use three arguments repeatedly when he meets well-known representatives of the US administration, including the finance, trade and energy ministers. First, Germany is Ukraine's most important aid after the United States. Second, Germany no longer buys oil and gas from Putin, but from the United States. Third: Germany has put aside its naivety in its relations with China. The last point is crucial for the United States, as it struggles for global standing with Beijing.

German companies are doing good business in the USA

At the residence, Habeck is surrounded by businessmen and managers of German companies doing business in the United States. Uwe Halping is one of them. He took a step outside as he looked at the city from Embassy Hill. It's already dark, and Washington is aglow. “It's much easier to do business here,” he says. He works for the automobile supplier Schaeffler from Franconia. “Senior Vice President of Finance and IT” is written on his business card. The company is building a new factory in Ohio where Ford electric axles will be manufactured. They received approval in a year and a half. Like Habeck, he also has three arguments to make: less bureaucracy, cheap energy, and lower taxes. However, they do not speak for Germany, but rather are symbols of the world's largest economy.

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From a business point of view, this world is more beautiful because the economy is doing well. Economists were already expecting a recession this year, but have now significantly increased their forecast to around 2%. Germany, on the other hand, looks like an economic tragedy. Last year, economic output contracted by 0.3 percent; This year, a meager growth of 0.2 percent is expected. The contradiction for Robert Habeck could not be greater. The American economy is driven by a stimulant that is only available in small doses. It's debt.

President Biden has allocated $1.2 trillion to modernize aging roads, railways and bridges, nearly three times the German federal budget. The infrastructure program is being bolstered by the massive restructuring of the US economy to make it green and sustainable under the Inflation Reduction Act. Companies that invest in environmentally friendly technologies receive significant tax deductions. Famous German companies are torn between loyalty to their country and the lure of money. For example, Porsche is skeptical of a planned battery factory in Baden-Württemberg, and is considering locating it on the other side of the Atlantic. Currently, according to the business delegation, we are awaiting the result of the presidential elections.