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German Automakers Lament Loss Of Competitive Edge Over U.S. Withdrawal From Paris Climate Accord

Kerry Picket Political Reporter
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Germany’s auto industry expressed disappointment over the decision by the U.S. to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, saying that Europe’s international competitive edge will now be harmed.

“The regrettable announcement by the USA makes it inevitable that Europe must facilitate a cost efficient and economically feasible climate policy to remain internationally competitive,” Matthias Wissmann, president of the German auto industry lobby group VDA, said in a statement to Reuters Friday.

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“The preservation of our competitive position is the precondition for successful climate protection. This correlation is often underestimated,” Wissmann said, noting that the decision by the U.S. was discouraging. (Related: Scandal-Plagued VW Slashes Costs And Jobs As It Recovers From Dieselgate)

Additionally, the VDA, which represents automakers BMW Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler, said that Germany is already at a disadvantage to the U.S. as their electricity and energy costs are higher in their country.

President Donald Trump announced Friday the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord prompting an international backlash from countries that signed on to the 2015 treaty, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.

“This decision cannot and will not deter all of us who feel obliged to protect this earth,” Merkel said.

Trump, in his announcement Friday to withdraw the U.S., stressed the economic disadvantage the  treaty that President Obama signed the U.S. on to unilaterally placed the country in.

“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” the president said.

He went on to say, “It is time to put Youngstown, Ohio; Detroit, Mich.; and Pittsburgh, Pa., along with many, many other locations within our great country, before Paris, France,” he said. “It is time to make America great again.”

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