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Germany says Trump's tariffs, sanctions destroy jobs and growth

Reuters  |  BERLIN 

(Reuters) - German Economy has sharply criticised U.S. Donald Trump's tariffs and sanctions policies, saying such measures were destroying jobs and growth and that would not bow to U.S. pressure regarding

The has triggered a bitter tit-for-tat trade dispute with import tariffs meant to protect American jobs against what Trump calls unfair trade practices from China, and other countries.

Trump's determination to push ahead with sanctions on which also target European companies doing business with has opened another battle front.

"This trade war is slowing down and destroying economic growth - and it creates new uncertainties," Altmaier told Bild am Sonntag newspaper, adding that consumers suffered the most because higher tariffs were driving up prices.

Altmaier lauded the agreement reached by during negotiations with Trump last month, saying the interim deal had saved hundreds of thousands of jobs in

The U.S. and the are embroiled in a spat after Trump imposed tariffs on aluminum and and responded with retaliatory tariffs on some U.S. goods.

Trump had also threatened to impose tariffs on EU auto imports but reached an agreement to hold off on taking action after meeting with Juncker at the last month.

"The agreement between the EU and U.S. can only be a first step. Our goal is a global trade order with lower tariffs, less protectionism and open markets," Altmaier said.

Turning to the U.S. sanctions against Iran, the said and its EU allies would continue to support companies doing business with despite U.S. pressure.

"We won't let dictate us with whom we can do business and we therefore stick to the Vienna Nuclear Agreement so that Iran cannot build atomic weapons," Altmaier said.

German companies should be allowed to continue to invest in Iran as much as they want and the German is looking for ways together with its European allies to ensure that financial transactions could still take place, he added.

Several European companies have suspended plans to invest in Iran in light of the U.S. sanctions, including Total as well as carmakers PSA, and

German business associations have warned that companies are increasingly suffering from Trump's sanctions policies - including those against Iran - as well as the tariffs he is imposing in the escalating trade conflict with

The trade and sanctions disputes are clouding the growth outlook for Germany, Europe's largest economy, but Altmaier said he nonetheless expected strong growth this year due to vibrant domestic demand, record-high employment and rising wages.

The will publish figures for the second quarter on Tuesday, with analysts expecting the quarterly growth rate to pick up to 0.4 percent after 0.3 percent in the first quarter.

(Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, August 12 2018. 15:58 IST