Federal Minister Peter Altmaier is today welcoming EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström for talks on current trade-policy issues at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The talks will focus on the debate on the modernisation of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the trade relations between the EU and the U.S. and the current state of play of the negotiations on bilateral trade agreements with the EU.

Minister Altmaier: "I am worried about the increasing protectionist tendencies in international trade. Open markets are essential for prosperity worldwide. In Europe, 31 million jobs – that is one in seven jobs – depend directly or indirectly on exports to the rest of the world. In Germany, one in three jobs is linked to trade and one in two to industry. Therefore, it is in everyone's interest to resolutely work towards ensuring open markets and rules-based trade under the umbrella of the WTO. For this purpose, we need to speak with one voice to support the efforts made by the European Commission and by Commissioner Cecilia Malmström to prevent the trade conflicts from escalating. We need to find a solution that benefits all – based on fewer rather than more taxes and trade impediments."

The talks build on the results of the informal meeting of trade ministers on 4 and 5 October in Innsbruck and take place in the run-up to the next regular Trade Ministers Council in Brussels on 9 November.