GA Trade Sep-Oct Interactive - page 27

standards, for example, are unfound-
ed. In fact, quite the opposite is true.
The goal is to agree on high stan-
dards that can also serve as a
benchmark for other countries and
other trade agreements around the
world. Of course, the path to TTIP
will not be easy, not least because a
number of vested interests will stand
in the way of a new rulebook that
promotes competition. That is why it
is crucial that we keep up the
political momentum and increase
transparency in the negotiating
process, so that we can have a frank
andwell-informed conversation
about what we want and don’t want
from TTIP.
RGIT:
With the Skills Initiative, the
German Embassy has promoted
theGerman dual system of voca-
tional education and training in
the U.S. Do you plan to continue
this initiative?
PW:
Yes, I believe that there is great
potential for German-American
cooperation inworkforce skills
development. The Skills Initiative
allows us to harness this potential by
spreading best practices and expand-
ing on successful approaches. Quality
education, combinedwith profes-
sional training, creates the basis for
new ideas, creativity, and innovation,
which in turn allow our businesses to
succeed in today’s global markets.
RGIT:
The political relationship
betweenGermany and the U.S. is
somewhat strained at themoment
because of theNSA spy affair and
global mass surveillance.What role
can you as German Ambassador
play in alleviating these tensions?
PW:
I think themost important
thing I can do is to explainGermany
and German sensitivities to policy-
makers and other stakeholders here
in the U.S. – tomy contacts in the
government, of course, but also to
members of Congress and, last but
not least, to the American public
throughmedia channels.
You have been the Permanent
Representative of Germany to the
UnitedNations and lived inNew
York for several years. In your
personal opinion, what is themain
difference between living inNew
York andWashington, DC?
PW:
I am still in the phase of
learning the differences between
NYC and DC – but I already heard,
for example, that whereas inNYC,
drivers hit the gas a few seconds
before the traffic light changes to
green, inDC, once the light turns
green, drivers take a contemplative
moment to ponder the changing of
the light. I will continue to study the
differences and get back to you on
that one.
n
W A S H I N G T O N U P D A T E
Ambassador PeterWittig (left) addresses thecrowdat theEmbassy’sWorldCupviewing
partyon June26 for theUSAvs. Germanygame
GermanAmerican Trade Sep/Oct 2014
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