Aargauer Zeitung: A New Brochure Will Show How Important Switzerland is to the U.S. Economy

Feb 17, 2017
In The News

The Swiss Ambassador to Washinton, Martin Dahinden, has presented a brochure. It is intended to draw attention to the achievements of Swiss employers in the USA.

His name remained unmentioned. But when the Swiss ambassador to the US yesterday presented a new brochure in Washington to underline the important role Swiss employers play in the largest economy, Donald Trump was ubiquitous. The president is known as a keen critic of free trade, because American workers allegedly paid a high price for intergovernmental trade agreements. Switzerland, on the other hand, depends on foreign trade. Exports to the US, according to the latest available figures, amounted to 52 billion dollars. Imports from the USA are almost the same as $ 51 billion.

At the same time, five members of the House of Representatives (three Republicans and two Democrats) emphasized that Switzerland was not a trading partner that pushed the US across the table. The republican deputy Jeff Fortenberry went so far as to describe the economic relations between the two states as a model for modern trade relations. "Switzerland is truly an exceptionally good friend," said Fortenberry, who has been representing a constituency in the state of Nebraska since 2005.

In his speech, he emphasized that the election campaign had shown how critical the Americans were to globalization. Even if the USA benefited from the free trade, the advantages were difficult for the individual employee. Swiss companies that have created more than 460,000 jobs in the US could provide relief, he said. In practice, it is shown that these companies are very similar to American firms, because Switzerland represents values ​​which are also upheld in the USA. Switzerland is interested in deep relations and not just in terms of monetary profits, Fortenberry stressed several times. Asked whether this opinion was shared by members of the Trump government, the deputy merely laughed. "We'll see," he said.

The idea for the brochure had already come before the Trumps election, said the Swiss Ambassador Martin Dahinden. However, the publication serves as a handy proof that small Switzerland is one of the most important investors in the big US.

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