Germany and the United States of America are bound together by a close friendship based on historical ties, shared experiences, values and interests.
In the aftermath of the Second World War, the United States helped rebuild Germany: politically by providing key impetus for the development of a liberal democracy, and economically by establishing the Marshall Plan. What is more, German unity would not have been achieved without the help of the United States during the Cold War and its support for German reunification.
An important pillar of bilateral relations is the transatlantic security community within the framework of NATO. The 30,000 US troops stationed in Germany help to ensure Europe’s security and, together with their families, form an integral part of many German communities.
The close economic relations between Germany and the United States create jobs and prosperity in both countries and foster economic exchange. The United States is the biggest buyer of German exports and Germany is the United States’ most important trading partner in Europe. The two countries are important to each other as locations for investment. With a total of just under 700,000 jobs, German companies are the fourth largest foreign employer in the United States and account for a significant share of exports from the United States.
The diverse cultural relations encompass a broad spectrum of exchange programmes and private initiatives. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people cross the Atlantic – as participants in exchange programmes, as students, as artists and performers, as scientists and academics or simply as tourists. Germany remains one of the most popular destinations for students from the United States. The more than 200 German-American town twinning arrangements are also a key part of cultural exchange.
In order to further intensify the civil-society dialogue across the Atlantic, the Federal Foreign Office – in conjunction with the Goethe-Institut and the Federation of German Industries – launched the Deutschlandjahr USA 2018/19 under the motto “Wunderbar Together”. Between October 2018 and October 2019, this initiative reached people in all 50 states of the United States with the aid of more than 1500 events and 200 partners.
The transatlantic partnership is a basic pillar of German foreign policy. It is no longer merely a matter of security issues. The spectrum of global challenges – from climate protection through the international financial architecture to the identification of the human genome – is now the subject of cooperation.