Transatlantic Coordinator travels to Washington

30.01.2017 - Press release

Only a few days after the inauguration of Donald Trump, Jürgen Hardt, Coordinator of Transatlantic Cooperation, will today (30 January) travel to Washington, DC, for official talks. Ahead of his departure, Jürgen Hardt issued the following statement:

Ten days after the new administration of President Trump took up its duties, there is widespread uncertainty regarding the United States’ future policies. With his decisions on trade and immigration, the new president is taking a fundamentally new direction on two issues that for several centuries have made America great: providing a safe refuge to people seeking protection, regardless of their faith, and pursuing free trade across borders. Through his actions, President Trump has sown doubt as to what the future course of US policy will be, as well as regarding the United States’ future role in the world.

US courts will now examine whether the decisions to introduce import tariffs and to extensively restrict immigration of people from Muslim-majority countries are in line with the United States Constitution and international law. In my talks with members of the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as with members of the new administration, I will highlight our reservations about the president’s current policy. I will also express our expectation that all Germans entering the US will be treated equally – regardless of any other citizenship they may hold.

I expect my counterparts will reassure me that the US remains fully committed to NATO and to its obligations under the North Atlantic Treaty. To my current knowledge, there is no reason to doubt this.

I am however concerned about a time when the current positive mood in the stock markets regarding the policies of Donald Trump may sour. For an America that pulls up the drawbridge will not be a good market for investors. Then at the very latest, I hope the new president will realise that he will get his country into trouble by continuing all too rashly and simply to implement campaign promises.

The transatlantic partnership will remain a key pillar of our foreign policy. We have an interest in further pursuing and intensifying close transatlantic cooperation based on the common values that make our Alliance so strong and unique. I will strongly campaign for these views in all my talks with congressmen and women, senators and members of the new administration.

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