Merkel-Obama warn of world at ‘crossroads’ in joint defence of globalisation
President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel made a joint call for a socially responsible economy and free trade, pushing back against the US President-elect Donald Trump’s agenda.
With Obama in Berlin for farewell talks with Merkel and other European government heads, the German business weekly WirtschaftsWoche quoted the two leaders in a joint op-ed as backing strong US-German business ties and the proposed trade agreement between the US and the European Union that they both back.
“Simply put, we are stronger when we work together,” the magazine cited Merkel and Obama as saying. “We are standing at the crossroads. The future is already here and a return to the world before globalisation won’t happen.”
The warning echoed Obama’s comments in a speech in Athens earlier on Wednesday that the backlash against globalisation by people who “feel they’re losing control of their future” needs to be addressed. With Merkel set to host the annual summit of the Group of 20 nations in Germany next year, the two leaders cited efforts by the US and Germany to use the forum to promote “more inclusive” economic growth, health care and action against climate change.
The US and Germany have a joint responsibility to protect democracy and respect for international law, they said. “Germans and Americans must seize the opportunity to shape globalisation according to our values and ideas,” they said. “We have an obligation to our companies and our citizens – in fact, to the entire global community – to broaden and deepen our cooperation.”