A version of this post appeared on LillyPad EU.
It’s time for another stop on our “TTIP World Tour!” We’ve travelled together in recent weeks to explore how the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will impact people and places across the EU and the U.S. Today, let’s learn a bit more about what TTIP and its innovative trade policies can do for the people of one of Europe’s largest countries: Germany!
With a gross domestic product of $3.87 trillion, Germany has the EU’s largest economy. Often called the “economic engine of Europe,” Germany has long maintained a positive trade balance, and now has the world’s third largest export economy. Already a powerhouse in this regard, Germany stands to see significant gains if avenues to bilateral trade were opened up, especially with the United States. In fact, the U.S. recently became Germany’s top export destination – a relationship bound to expand in the years ahead through new trade deals. TTIP and similar agreements present a chance to clear away regulatory obstacles and enable further growth and competitiveness.
Germany’s incredibly robust economy creates an environment that encourages the constant exchange of high quality goods and services. So, naturally, trade plays a major role in creating jobs for millions of Germans in industries such as car and machinery manufacturing or iron and steel working. In fact, Germans represent 7.1 million of the 31 million European jobs supported by global exports, and many of these jobs depend specifically on trade with the United States. Building upon an already solid foundation of collaboration and commerce will make it far easier for Germany to both protect existing jobs and create new opportunities for many more of its citizens.
Germany’s booming export infrastructure is a key pillar of its economic success. High global sales of products like motor vehicles, machinery and electronics keep the gears in motion. But its range isn’t limited to Mercedes and Volkswagen! Also present in the country’s top 10 export products? Medicines. Germany regularly produces and ships more than $70 billion in medicine and other medical products annually, which makes the country one of the EU’s top producers.
German pharmaceutical companies should be able to share the fruits of their labor with patients both at home and abroad, but barriers to trade often get in the way of these exchanges. This is where TTIP can help: Greater regulatory alignment between the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would provide much needed relief from duplicative processes, allowing more people access to the medicines they need faster. TTIP can provide the necessary framework for Germany to better spread its discoveries in health care and life sciences on a global scale.
Germany, like each of its fellow EU member states, has much to gain from greater transatlantic cooperation. Solidifying the commercial bonds between us will yield greater economic vitality and healthier living for millions of people, not just in Germany, or the EU or U.S., but around the world. That is the ultimate goal, and agreeing upon a comprehensive TTIP is how we can accomplish it together.