Exports of military equipment are not a tool of economic policy. Whether or not a licence is issued for exports of military equipment depends in every case on foreign and security policy considerations. Labour policy considerations must not be a decisive factor.

Irrespective of the individual decisions made on exports of military equipment, the Economic Affairs Ministry seeks a dialogue with the military equipment sector. After all, the companies and the people employed there have a right to expect policy makers to justify their decisions. For this reason, Sigmar Gabriel engages in discussions with businesses, associations and trade unions.