Germany and the United States of America are bound 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 to rebuild Germany: politically by providing 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. Close transatlantic coordination therefore remains as important as ever when it comes to meeting the challenges of our time, such as maintaining peace and security in Europe and around the world.
An important pillar of bilateral relations is the transatlantic security community within the framework of NATO. The 34,000 US troops stationed in Germany help to ensure Europe’s security. The German Government is engaged in close coordination with the US Government regarding the recent decision to draw down American forces.
Close economic relations, too, create jobs in, and foster exchange between, both countries. The United States was the biggest buyer of German exports in 2019, and Germany is the United States’ most important trading partner in Europe. With a total of just under 700,000 jobs, German companies are the fourth largest foreign employer in the United States. The countries also face common challenges as governments around the world work to overcome the economic and social consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Diverse cultural relations between the US and Germany 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 or 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 another key part of cultural exchange.
In order to further intensify civil-society dialogue across the Atlantic, the Federal Foreign Office – in conjunction with the Goethe-Institut and the Federation of German Industries – conducted the Deutschlandjahr USA 2018/19 under the motto “Wunderbar Together”. The initiative reached people all across the country, in all 50 states, with the aid of more than 1500 events. This commitment will extend into the future, as Germany remains engaged in the United States with its cultural and public relations activities.
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.