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US companies upbeat about business in Germany — Survey

More than half of US companies in the country want to hire extra employees and invest more

Image Credit: Twitter
Bernhard Mattes
Gulf News

BERLIN: Some 82 per cent of US companies operating in Germany expect revenues to increase this year, a survey showed on Friday, despite a brewing trade conflict over the US decision to impose tariffs steel and aluminium imports.

More than half of US companies in the country want to hire extra employees and invest more, the poll published by the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany (AmCham Germany) showed.

President Donald Trump announced the tariffs last month, causing a global outcry. Germany, along with the rest of the European Union, has been exempted from the higher duties but so far only until May 1, 2018.

The EU and other US allies worry that the tariffs will limit the amount of their goods getting into the United States and they also fear steel barred from the United States will flood back into their markets, causing a glut.

The AmCham Germany survey found that 61 per cent of the US companies with operations in Germany want to boost their activity there in the coming three to four years.

German companies operating in the United States are also optimistic, with about 80 per cent expecting rising revenues and 70 per cent wanting to increase their activities there.

But they complained about a lack of planning security in the United States, with just over half criticising a lack of reliability in US politics.

“The results show that both Germany and the USA are still highly valued locations for investment despite the current political discord,” said Bernhard Mattes, president of AmCham Germany.

“Germany attracts US companies with its stable economy and strong domestic consumption. On the other side of the Atlantic measures like the US tax reform have made the USA more attractive for German investors,” he added.

Earlier this year the United States slashed taxes for corporations and the wealthy while giving mixed, temporary tax relief to middle-class Americans under a $1.5 trillion (Dh5.50 trillion) reform.

On Thursday Germany’s leading economic institutes said that US tariffs on steel and aluminium imports would not dampen German exports if the exemption granted to the EU expires on May 1 without a permanent solution.

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