U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Visits Berlin and Frankfurt, Germany

Nov022015

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Secretary Pritzker tours a training facility at Bayer Health Care in Berlin, where she also participated in a Workforce Development Roundtable.
Secretary Pritzker tours a training facility at Bayer Health Care in Berlin, where she also participated in a Workforce Development Roundtable.

Last week, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker traveled to Berlin and Frankfurt, Germany to underscore the strength of the U.S.-German partnership and address some of our top shared priorities, including concluding the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership; fostering an open, innovation-based transatlantic digital economy; and supporting an independent Ukraine.

The U.S.-German alliance has been indispensable to global security and growth, and the relationship is crucial to advancing a future of peace, progress, and prosperity globally. In 2014, Germany was the U.S.’s sixth largest export market in the world and second largest in Europe. Additionally in 2014, the United States exported $49.4 billion in goods to Germany, while we imported $123.2 billion, resulting in an impressive two-way merchandise trade relationship of $172.6 billion.

In Berlin, Secretary Pritzker discussed key Transatlantic economic priorities with German officials including Sigmar Gabriel, Vice Chancellor and Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, and Lars-Hendrik Roeller, Economic, Financial, and Energy Policy Advisor to Chancellor Merkel. She also met with representatives from Hannover Messe to discuss the April 2016 Hannover Fair, at which the United States will be the Partner Country for the first time.

Secretary Pritzker then toured Factory Berlin, Germany’s largest startup campus, and led a roundtable with local entrepreneurs and investors. Roundtable participants shared the challenges and opportunities faced by startups and entrepreneurs in Germany and the U.S. and discussed areas for further transatlantic cooperation. Secretary Pritzker also highlighted the dynamic trade relationship between the U.S. and Germany, and encouraged entrepreneurs to think global from day one through Department of Commerce initiatives such as Select USA. Representatives from the startups described the confusion that has followed an October ruling from the European Court of Justices with respect to the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor framework. In response, the Secretary shared the Department’s role in negotiating a revised agreement and her hopes that it would be completed soon, giving certainty to businesses who rely on the framework to transfer data across the Atlantic.

In Frankfurt, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker delivered remarks at the AmCham Germany Annual Transatlantic Business Conference to address critical strategic and economic priorities facing the U.S.-German relationship.

Before more than 400 representatives from German and American companies, Secretary Pritzker highlighted the importance of a strong transatlantic alliance and a deep partnership between the U.S. and Germany to advance our shared principles across our nations, throughout the European Union, and around the world. She stressed three priorities that demand the attention and leadership of the public and private sectors in both countries: concluding the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), fostering an open and innovation-based transatlantic digital economy, and supporting an independent and prosperous Ukraine.

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