German living standards depend on unfettered access to
foreign markets for its highly competitive manufacturing
sector. Protectionism by trading partners and the uncertainty
that it generates are inimical to the interests of
German exporters, including its substantial mechanical
engineering sector. Lost export orders are a threat to employees
and to the families and taxpayers who depend
upon them.
The events of the past four years have highlighted the importance
of defending a rules-based world trading system.
Effective trade policy advocacy requires high-quality information
on policy developments abroad and their commercial
significance. Such advocacy is at a premium during periods
of crisis as governments are tempted to turn inwards
and resort to protectionism irrespective, it seems, of the
lessons from history.

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