Trade with the US: Economy suffers from entry ban

Status: 07/28/2021 5:30 p.m.

Because of Corona, the US continues to refuse Europeans entry. German companies complain louder and louder about the burden on their business, business associations speak of billions in costs.

By Bibiana Barth, ARD stock exchange studio

If German-American economic relations were a love affair, then only online dates would be possible. The pandemic-related “Travel Ban” continues: Business trips are only possible in exceptional cases – and only with special permission. This has been going on since March 2020.

Ulrich Ackermann from the Association of German Machine and Plant Builders (VDMA) anticipates serious consequences: “Many companies are waiting to enter the country in order to install machines and carry out service. Many functions are not available in the USA and you need specialists from Germany Visits to the trade fair are not possible. ”

Problems especially in medium-sized businesses

On request, Siemens said that they had set up. After all, the company has been working like this since the start of the entry ban. With the approximately 40,000 Siemens employees in the USA alone, this can be achieved.

The situation is different for medium-sized companies, according to VDMA foreign trade expert Ackermann: “An average company generates 20 million euros in sales. Of course, they don’t have the specialists you need all over the world. It’s different with large-scale industry, they certainly don’t have that many Problems like us. ”

After the EU recently eased entry restrictions for US citizens, there was great hope for a positive sign from the United States. Chancellor Angela Merkel only recently addressed the problem personally during her visit to US President Joe Biden, apparently without any effect – probably also because of the increasing number of corona cases with the Delta variant in Europe and the USA.

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Investments are postponed

Volker Treier, head of foreign trade at the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, assumes costs for the economy in the billions. “German companies have built up an investment volume of 470 billion euros in the USA and employ 900,000 people locally,” says Treier. “This is the most important investment market for German companies outside of Germany. The companies inform us that they are postponing or even canceling investments because of the Travel Ban.” The export of machines and systems has also been below average in the past few months.

Consumer goods were already doing better, but there will be changes here, too, expects David Kohl, Chief Economist Germany of the Swiss bank Julius Baer: “The strong increase in exports to the USA is due to a demand pull because the government is sending checks to consumers with its economic stimulus program But there won’t be any more. And that’s why demand and exports will fall. ”

How long the entry ban imposed by the USA will last for the EU and thus also for Germany, nobody dares to say. One thing is certain: every additional month has a negative impact on the economy.

The US entry ban and the consequences for the German economy

Bibiana Barth, HR, 28.7.2021 · 3:43 p.m.

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