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Merkel in the United States: "The trip is clearly disappointing"

Merkel in the United States: “The trip is clearly disappointing”

The US government is not lifting entry restrictions for travelers from Europe. “We will maintain current travel restrictions,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in Washington on Monday. During her visit to US President Joe Biden, Chancellor Angela Merkel gave the impression that the measure, which had been a particular problem for business travelers, scientists, artists and students, could be reversed. Merkel said she had raised the issue. For the foreign policy spokesman of the Free Democratic Party, Alexander Graf Lampsdorf, the hard-line position of the Americans is incomprehensible. “Our relations with the United States are shaped by deep and varied human contacts, almost all of which have been discontinued,” Lampsdorff told the Berliner Zeitung newspaper. “Research projects and business meetings are exactly the same as artwork and private relations.” Regarding Merkel’s trip, he said: “I could not see That the chancellor had advocated lifting the entry ban. In this regard, their trip has been clearly disappointing.”

Negotiations must now continue at the EU level. Lambsdorff: “It is really important to perform with other Europeans. The ban affects the entire Schengen area; Germany alone will not achieve anything. At the same time, we must work for mutual recognition of vaccinations. The lack of this is incomprehensible, because the vast majority of Vaccines come from the United States or at least have been developed with American participation.” However, it is unclear how free the EU is. During Biden’s visit to Europe, the European Union unilaterally lifted entry restrictions on American citizens, clearly confident that Americans will now follow suit. The Federation of German Machine Builders and Manufacturers (VDMA) said in a statement: “In June, Europe lifted travel restrictions on Americans, making the US decision even more frustrating. The European Union and the federal government are invited to dissuade partners in Washington from their blockade.”

But the US government wants to continue the difficult path in competition with companies from the European Union. After all, the entry ban affects companies’ efforts to acquire new business in the United States. Andrew Adair, foreign trade expert at VDMA, told this newspaper: “It is possible for German companies to send employees to the US when it comes to installation, servicing or maintenance under existing contracts. It is a time-consuming and bureaucratic process, but it is possible.” However, the US authorities “actually do not issue an entry permit when it comes to flights with which German companies wish to start new businesses”. I manage: “This is a problem for many companies in the fall, because there are many trade shows and conferences out there.” The authorities appear to be very meticulous when reviewing German applications. VDMA expert: “The US Consulate in Frankfurt examines thousands of applications. Each application must be given individual approval.” Germany also struggles with the selection of those whose growth efforts are hampered by regulations in the US: “Above all, we do not understand why it affects states from the Schengen area. Companies from Turkey, Croatia, Romania and Turkey can travel to the US without hindrances,” says Adair. In addition to the Schengen area, the entry ban also applies to Great Britain, China, Russia and Brazil, among other countries.

DIHK expects serious damage to the German economy. “Through the announced travel ban and extension, German companies in the United States are suffering double-digit billions in damages,” Volker Trier, head of foreign trade at DIHK, was quoted by AFP as saying. More than 5,500 German companies with subsidiaries in the United States generate total sales of about $532 billion annually, according to DIHK.