Symposium Examines US-German Relations in Trump Era

The International Political Economy program recently hosted a symposium on U.S.-German relations that featured Boris Ruge, Germany's Deputy Chief of Mission to the United States, and other panelists.

The March 8 event, "The Election of Donald Trump: Implications for U.S.-German Relations," included a panel discussion with Ruge, Gerrit Zwergel, senior vice president of finance and CFO, KBA North America, Inc.; and Dr. James Hollifield, director of the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies at Southern Methodist University. The moderator was Lee Cullum, of KERA and The Dallas Morning News and board of directors of the American Council on Germany.

Ruge said he was pleased to see so much interest in U.S.-German relations.

"The United States is our most important ally and partner outside of Europe and it's an absolutely critical relationship," Ruge said. "We want to engage, we want to work through issues in the interest of the United States and Germany."

"The election has reminded us how important it is to engage with people outside of Washington, D.C.," Ruge said. "So we're doing more of that, especially in an important place like Dallas."

The American Council on Germany Dallas Eric M. Warburg Chapter and the Dallas Goethe Center presented the event, which drew about 140 from UT Dallas, business and German communities.

"The panel discussion showed how broad the relations between Germany and the United States in fact are; it was eye-opening," said Hans Heppe, international partner at Locke Lord and director of the Dallas Warburg Chapter of the American Council on Germany.

Dr. Jennifer Holmes, professor and head of political science, public policy and political economy programs, said the event provided a rare opportunity for North Texans to learn about U.S.-German relations.

"We are excited to host such a high-level event with international diplomats at UT Dallas," Holmes said. "It was great to see UT Dallas students and business leaders from more than 60 companies engaged in sincere discussions about the implications of the recent election. We look forward to building on these new relationships to support our students in Dallas and in Germany with increased internship and other professional opportunities."

The School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences offers a dual master's degree in international political economy as part of a new partnership with the Philipps University of Marburg in Germany. UT Dallas students spend their first year at UT Dallas and their second year studying at Marburg. The symposium on U.S. German relations will be an annual event.