China has been continuing efforts to ally with European countries for trade purposes in the wake of the Trump Administration’s recent tariffs.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang recently met and agreed to create a multilateral trade system between their countries order to strengthen their respective economies.
Keqiang held a similar meeting with France, wherein he agreed to increase China’s purchase of French products. In a wildly different approach to Trump’s, China has recently solidified its relationship with other countries through its mutually beneficial deals.
During the meeting, the Merkel and Keqiang signed deals worth over twenty billion euros. Li Keqiang prided himself on his country’s ability for effective diplomacy. He stated:
“Free trade plays a strong leading role for both sides and for the world economy.”
Keqiang’s meeting with Merkel comes soon after the U.S. imposed twenty-five percent tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods. These tariffs were implemented last Friday. According to Trump, the measures were taken in response to unfair trade practices from China and their pressure on American companies to share “significant technology.”
The deal with China was very important for Germany’s economy, since the European nation has been hit by U.S. tariffs on their aluminum and steel. The tariffs were targeted at all G-7 U.S. allies. Chancellor Merkel was one of the first leaders to respond to the tariffs, saying that Europe was ready to retaliate with similar measures.
She has constantly made the trade wars her responsibility, taking initiative and attempting to remain unfazed by U.S. threats. She stated after the talks with Keqiang:
We have a lot of direct investment in the United States of America, we have a lot of direct investment in China. It really is a multilateral interdependent system that at its best most likely is really a plurilateral win-win situation when we stick to the rules.”
Merkel also praised China heavily for recently easing its approach to foreign business.
Germany’s deal with China will not only increase trade between the two countries, but it will help to ensure future cooperation between Chinese and German companies as well. The deal also focuses on helping German companies which will be directly affected by the tariffs implanted in China, such as BMW.
Merkel has made it clear several times that these measures do not mean an end for relations between the U.S. and Germany or other European countries. However, she has mentioned that the E.U. is currently thinking of ways to proceed without including the U.S., unless the Trump administration changes their rhetoric and approach to international relations.
Featured Image via Flickr/EU2017EE Estonian Presidency