German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Tuesday that he wanted to put relations with the United States on a new footing after they hit a low point under the administration of former president Donald Trump.
In his first major speech on transatlantic relations since the inauguration of President Joe Biden in January, Maas offered the US a “New Deal,” including a joint fight for democracy, more German responsibility in resolving conflicts in and around Europe and a joint strategy towards China and Russia.
“Germany is at your side,” Maas said at an online event organized by the US Brookings Institution.
He supported a further increase in German defence spending – a long-standing point of tension with Trump – and spoke in favour of negotiations on sector-specific trade agreements and the revival of cooperation on climate protection.
Biden made fighting climate change a central pillar of his campaign for the White House and has put the US back in the Paris climate agreement, which Trump rejected.
Brookings has set up a new chair for Germany and transatlantic relations with funds from donors including 2 million euros (2.4 million dollars) from the German government.