The ongoing tariff war between United States and China that shows no signs of abating and Trump’s announcement of introducing tariffs on imported cars has brought two unlikely nations together. The protectionist attitude of president Trump who has recently announced that tariff on imported cars would be raise by 25 % has rattled Germany which exports highest amount of cars to the nation which accounts for nearly $20 billion annually. Both Germany and China therefore decided to expand their political and economic cooperation during the summit at Hamburg as Chancellor Merkel said last year that Europeans must take their fate into their hands.
Director of Hamburg Institute of International Economics Henning Voepel stated that Germany is thinking about developing new trade alliances as the old alliances have become untrustworthy over the years. They feel that this will help to start a new world order and change trade for the better. China has already become a close trading partner of Germany and had business volume of more than $204 billion during 2017 which put it ahead of United States as it is still waging a trade war with United States over tariffs.
Most of China’s trade with Germany is handled through the port of Hamburg that Chinese respectfully call as “Fortress of the Chinese” due to long standing relations with the port. According to data every third container at Hamburg port is either destined for China or is arriving from there. While 550 firms from China have their base in Hamburg while 350 more are spread elsewhere across Germany. A recent opinion poll to check sentiments of German people published by Pew Research Center revealed that around 67 % agreed that their nation should cooperate with China compared to 41 % that favored United States. While China is the second largest economy in the world, Germany stands at fourth position and apparent withdrawal of US from globalization is helping China’s political and economic expansion.