The American Chamber of Commerce in Germany said today that the majority of its members believe that a free-trade agreement between the US and EU is only likely to happen if Joe Biden beats Donald Trump to win the election in November.
76% of respondents to the AmCham Germany survey believe that prospects for a transatlantic trade deal will improve under a possible Biden administration. Just over 80% of members believe that the chances of trade negotiations will deteriorate if Trump is re-elected.
A little over 63% of the AmCham members members believe that the next US administration should prioritise the transatlantic trade agreement. They also said that healthcare reform, investment in infrastructure and expansion of renewable energy should be the top priorities for the next US government.
More than three quarters of respondents believe that the divide between Republicans and Democrats is set to widen in the years to come.
"Regardless of the electoral outcome in November, we will work together fully and openly with the next US Administration," AmCham Germany president Frank Sportolari said in a statement.
The members surveyed comprised 69% representatives from German companies, and 26% from US companies in Germany.
Brussels and Washington have been mired in trade strife for several years now, with Trump repeatedly threatening to slap punitive tariffs on EU cars since taking office.
In August, the European Commission agreed to abolish the tariffs on US lobster for the next five years—Trump had complained about Canada being able to sell its lobsters into the EU tariff-free under the 2017 EU-Canadian trade deal. The US agreed in return to cut tax by 50% on a number of EU products, including ceramics, glassware, and some ready meals.
The president of the German foreign trade association (BGA) told Reuters recently that Germany no longer expects a transatlantic free trade agreement to happen.
"The Americans have no real interest in a breakthrough, not under Trump anyway," BGA president Anton Börner told Reuters.
“Protectionism will not be less under president Biden than under Donald Trump. Even the Democrats are not great friends of liberal world trade."