US protectionism would hurt all sides -German minister

BERLIN, Feb 1 - US President Donald Trump's policy decisions are going in "a totally wrong direction," German Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries said in a newspaper interview on Wednesday, warning that protectionism would cost growth and jobs in both economies.
Germany is one of the world's leading trading nations, with exports accounting for some 45 percent of its gross domestic product. The United States became Germany's top trading partner in 2015, overtaking France for the first time since 1961.
Asked about Trump's first policy decisions since the new American president took office, Zypries told Bild newspaper: "What we are witnessing over the past 10 days is alarming and irritating. This is going in a totally wrong direction."
Zypries pointed out that only 10 percent of German exports were going to the United States while 60 percent went to other European countries.
But a protectionist US trade policy would still be "bad for the German economy and therefore also for jobs", she added.
Asked about how the German government was planning to react, the minister said: "We have to talk, talk, talk. Such a isolationist policy, which Donald Trump apparently plans to implement, is hurting all sides - also the American economy."
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