Unlike his predecessor president joe biden, treated mackel as a friend rather than foe for her day at the white house, it’s been a long time since the german chancellor received a welcome. This warm in washington, chancellor merkel, back into the white house where she’s been in the oval office many times, she’s been a great friend. I consider a personal friend as well as a great friend of the united states and uh after the tense diplomatic relationship with former president trump. Both president joe biden and chancellor angela merkel stressed the friendship between their two countries. We will stand up for democratic principles and universal rights when we see china or any other country working to undermine free and open societies. We stand together and we’ll continue to stand together to defend our eastern flank allies at nato against russian aggression, but germany and the u.s do not agree on how to deal with either russia or china. The planned gigantic nordstream 2 pipeline will bring russian natural gas into europe. Washington says the project makes the continent more dependent on russia and threatens the security of its smaller neighbors. Like ukraine, merkel has long championed the project but played down the differences. We talked about russia and ukraine and, in this context, also about nordstrom 2 we’ve come to different assessments as to what this project entails. But let me say clearly: our idea is and remains that ukraine remains a transit country for natural gas and that ukraine, like any other country, has a right to territorial sovereignty.
The chancellor’s farewell tour of washington began with a breakfast with vice president kamala harris and later the johns hopkins university bestowed an honorary degree on the former physicist merkel’s time, as german chancellor may be drawing to a close, but she has left a lasting impression on the Us but president, a personal note, i must tell you i’ll miss seeing you at our summits. I truly will with the biden presidency. U.S. German relations are calmer, but big differences remain dw reporter william bluecroft is following the chancellor’s visit to the states for us hi, william. We heard in that report that differences do remain so tell us more about how those differences were discussed in these talks good morning, sumi there’s, so many differences in this relationship that have no clear strategy for resolving as much as they say they want to resolve them And want to remain on a friendly agreeable path. You have you know china, for example. The us sees it as a not just an economic threat, but also a strategic and military one. Germany and europe, more broadly, has basically sees it only as an economic opportunity. You have european and common security and germany’s role they’re in what it’s ready to commit in terms of security and military and defense uh. Of course, covet travel. Americans can travel to the european union, but germans and other europeans can’t travel to the u.s. There is no clear resolution of that and, of course, the vaccine patent question germany wants to go with the kovacs.
The kovacs route to get vaccines into lower income countries and biden already months ago, said he’s prepared to waive patent waivers or excuse me wave patents uh to allow other countries to develop them so there’s. Just so many things that just didn’t really come out in any substantive way. In this meeting yesterday, we saw one of the largest disagreements is still the nordstrom 2 pipeline, and we saw president biden and chancellor merkel issue a warning to russia to not use energy as a weapon, but william do they have a strategy there. If russia does choose to limit gas supplies to europe right, it’s, a great example of just how there may be goals and there’s ideas and there’s general agreement, but there’s just no strategy or policy in place for how to actually achieve those things. We know that the united states that joe biden and many european allies are absolutely against nordstream 2, given its strategic challenges to europe. Energy security, climate concerns – germany, is pushing forward with it after a very tense winter and spring, where there is threat and in fact some sanctions imposed. Biden has backed off saying really it’s too late to do anything about it, but the u.s congress says no, oh this. These sanctions are not optional, they are law and they are pushing biden to actually impose those sanctions, um and so really remains to be seen how that’s going to be worked out. But we knew going into this meeting uh in a background call with a senior white house official, he said already.
There would be no concrete deliverable on the nordstream 2 issue, so we knew going in that. Nothing was really going to come out of this. In a concrete way and william, given these disagreements after september’s elections, there will be a new german chancellor. How much could that actually change the u.s german relationship, it’s extremely interesting, what’s going to happen come september and after when there’s going to be a new government in place? You know, of course, we don’t know who’s going to be in that government polls are looking like it will either be or could be. The greens or angela merkel’s conservative, the union uh coalition or some combination of that and each party, based on their platform kind of aligns with joe biden’s thoughts and agenda in different ways. The greens, more aligned with biden’s ideas about climate, about human rights, democracy approaching or confronting russia and china and and the conservatives are more aligned in more traditional uh aspects of nato, of common defense, uh of military spending, these kinds of things, but really germany, has a Long history of not really stepping up to the plate to meet its global responsibilities as a major power and has disappointed the united states and many many times in many ways, and that could be the result regardless of the party uh that wins or the coalition. That comes together after september’s elections, william gluecroft reporting for us there. Thank you, german chancellor, angela merkel and u.
s president joe biden maintained their disagreement over the contentious nordstrom 2 pipeline during a visit by angela merkel to the white house on thursday. Both, however, stressed the need for ukraine to remain a transit land for russian gas. The u.s wants germany to scrap the deal altogether with russia and has put sanctions on the project. Germany has defended it as economically necessary let’s. Take a listen to what the german chancellor had to say. We have talked about china and there is a great common understanding that, firstly, china is a competitor in many areas that trade with china has to be based on us having a level playing field. That means that the standards are the same. Incidentally, this was a major point of negotiation in the eu. China investment agreement and andrew adair from the german engineering association vdma joins us now. Thank you very much for joining us, andrew and it’s kind of hard to to draw conclusions from this meeting. It seems to simply be a holding pattern and a whole bunch of subjects. Nordstrom, china, and so on, is biden just biding his time until merkel’s successor comes along hey good morning, thanks for having me um, yes in some ways, that’s true uh, although i’d i’d like to first start out by uh, sharing with you the perspective of vdma, which Is we are extremely delighted that there is a sign of of progress in the travel ban? The travel ban right now, which has been in effect since march of 2020, prevents travelers from the schengen area from coming into the united states without a waiver which they have to apply for it’s, a very burdensome process, and last night uh joe biden indicated that there Could be um, there was a review of this travel ban going on and that there could be an announcement in the coming days based on the uh action of his kovid team.
So we are the. The lifting of this travel ban is not going to make that much difference at the moment. We’Re still in the pandemic, we’re about to talk about lufthansa later and you know, we’re, seeing that business travel is still extremely low even within europe. Is this going to make much of a difference? Yes, for for vdma for our member companies, lifting the travel ban will make a huge difference and it will also make a huge difference for our american clients who, at the end of the day, need their machines and their equipment maintained. They need their equipment installed. These things they can’t order. You know packaging machines out of a box from amazon. You need to have a technician fly over and install it they’re extremely complicated, complex technologies. Every few months. These things need to optimize. So there are many examples of production processes in the united states that have been put on hold or that have been stopped altogether because of specific technicians that have not been able to enter the united states. Okay, so it seems that at least we’re getting some movement there, but back to to nordstream, where we’re still not seeing any agreement, it seems to have just been kicked into the long grass. Is there any way forward on this, because both sides just seem to be at opposite opposite ends? Still, yes, i mean at vdma. Our position is um that extra territorial sanctions are not a good way to conduct business, and so that is out.
That remains our position. Going forward, okay, all right! Thank you very much, andrew adair from the vdma thanks very much.