World Economy

Merkel Says Trying to Boost Domestic Demand

Merkel Says Trying to Boost Domestic DemandMerkel Says Trying to Boost Domestic Demand

Germany is trying to stimulate domestic demand to offset strong exports, but wants a keen appetite for German products to continue, Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a video podcast on Saturday.

Merkel said Germany’s trade surpluses, attacked by US President Donald Trump, were narrowing due to rising domestic demand, and the government would continue to try to support that trend, Reuters reported.

But she noted certain factors that affect trade balances, such as oil prices and currency fluctuations, were outside Germany’s control. “And of course, the trade surpluses show that our products are in demand. And we naturally want that to remain so in the future,” she said.

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier will visit Washington on Sunday to press for a waiver from US steel and aluminum tariffs as part of a broad push by the European Union to reverse the US trade sanctions.

Merkel said on Friday the planned US tariffs violated the principles of the World Trade Organization and the dispute should be resolved via talks if possible.

Speaking at a news conference with visiting Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, Merkel stressed the importance of multilateralism to Germany and Sweden and said both countries wanted to see the WTO take a strong role.

“We believe the tariffs that the United States has proposed are against these principles of the WTO and we want to change or solve these problems via discussions if possible,” she said.

Lofven said the planned tariffs were worrying and regrettable.

The US Customs and Border Patrol is expected to begin collecting the tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum at 12:01am on March 23, as determined in US President Donald Trump’s proclamations.

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