When President Donald Trump described Germany’s trade policies as “bad, very bad,” he was only using his typical blunt way of speaking a truth the United States government has been more obscurely and politely saying for years.
Germany’s current account surplus–the amount its exports outpace its imports–recently hit 270 billion euros, close to 8.9 percent of its gross domestic product. This upward trending trade surplus shows little signs of slowing and Germany’s current account balance may rise above 9 percent of its this year. Despite years of criticism from the Obama administration and the International Monetary Fund, Germany has shown no willingness to address the persistent imbalance.
Germany’s persistent current account surpluses add to German GDP while they subtract from the GDP elsewhere around they world. Germany is not just exporting products–it is exporting stagnation, job losses, and deflation.