The German Government should back the European Commission during the TTIP negotiations. Instead of abandoning the agreement for party-political reasons, it should support the efforts to reach a good conclusion. TTIP must not fall victim to the burgeoning election battle. Party conferences are not the place for deciding on free trade treaties – that is a task for elected, independent members of Parliament and the German Government.
The objective must be to drive forward the negotiations so far by the fall that those with political responsibility in both the US and Europe can resolve the most difficult issues. A common economic area totaling 800 million people offers huge opportunities for growth, employment and prosperity, especially for Germany as an exporting nation. For example, almost one quarter of all German jobs depend on foreign trade, while exports of goods and services account for around half the German gross domestic product. Anyone who rejects free trade and the agreements it requires seems not to know what our material prosperity is founded on. Globalization is not a possibility, it is reality. If Europe seals itself off, it will become marginalized.