The German economy’s trust in the United States is eroding, because of the trade wars, among other factors. Instead, companies are placing their trust more in China, which, as the saying goes, is having the last laugh.
One should be able to afford to joke at the expense of the most powerful man on earth. Ren Zhengfei, in any case, also does not have much more to lose. The technology firm Huawei that he founded has long been declared America’s public enemy No. 1, and his oldest daughter is still being held in Canada on charges of having violated U.S. sanctions against Iran.
So, the Chinese businessman complains in front of rolling cameras about President Donald Trump and calls his tweets laughable. Such words would hardly emerge from the lips of a middle-class German.
As a current poll shows, however, the German economy’s trust in the reliability of America under Trump is declining as never before. It has fallen behind even China − an unfree country with a state-controlled economy in which individual human rights count for little.
Of course, German companies also will not just abandon the biggest market on the planet overnight. But long-term investment decisions will certainly influence this shrinking trust, particularly if Trump is elected to a second term.
Whoever laughs last, laughs best, as the saying goes. But it is very likely that no one will find these trade wars funny in the end.