BERLIN, May 22 (Xinhua) -- German minister for the economy Peter Altmaier on Tuesday appealed to the reason in the trade conflict between Berlin and Washington.
Speaking to the newspaper "Passauer Neue Presse", Altmaier warned that a trade war unleashed by U.S. President Donald Trump's "America First" doctrine would not produce any winners.
"If you fight fire with fire, all you are left with is burned earth," the minister said.
Given that higher tariffs and non-tariff barriers threatened to undermine global growth and prosperity which would harm all sides involved, Altmaier expressed hope that Washington could still be persuaded to reverse course.
In the framework of the European Union (EU), Germany was therefore attempting to reach "sensible solutions" in ongoing discussions with U.S. representatives.
The minister's comments were made shortly before a second temporary exclusion of the EU from newly-imposed U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports is scheduled to expire on June 1.
The Europeans are demanding a permanent exclusion from Washington's protectionist measures and are in turn offering to re-open talks to sign a watered-down version of the failed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
Peter Beyer, the federal government's official commissioner for transatlantic relations, told the "Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland" (RND) on Tuesday that Berlin would need to assume more responsibility in light of rapidly-deteriorating transatlantic relations.
Several senior policymakers in Germany, including President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Chancellor Angela Merkel, have recently warned that Trump's decisions to resort to protectionist measures and withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal could cause lasting damage to traditionally close German-U.S. ties.