U.S. Overtakes China as Germany’s Top Trading Partner in Q1 2024

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According to Reuters’ calculations based on official data from the German statistics office, the United States has surpassed China as Germany’s most important trading partner in the first quarter of 2024. Germany’s trade with the U.S. reached 63 billion euros ($68 billion) from January to March, exceeding the figure of just under 60 billion euros for China.

Factors contributing to this shift include robust economic conditions in the U.S., leading to increased German exports, while both exports to and imports from China have declined. Structural reasons such as China’s advancement up the value chain ladder and German companies producing locally instead of exporting to China have also played a role.

Germany’s desire to reduce its dependency on China, driven by political differences and concerns about unfair practices, has led to a reorientation towards the U.S. as a trading partner. While the U.S. now accounts for around 10% of German goods exports, China’s share has fallen to less than 6%.

However, uncertainties remain, particularly regarding potential policy changes in the U.S. after the upcoming elections. The future trajectory of Germany’s trade relationships will depend on various geopolitical and economic factors, including the direction of U.S. trade policies.


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