Congressman McKinley Hosts Meeting with German Embassy and Area Business Leaders

By Connect Clarksburg Staff | August 23, 2018

Foreign companies are hesitant to bring their investments to the U.S. with the tariffs imposed under President Donald Trump’s administration, and West Virginia isn’t exempt from feeling the result of that uncertainty.

Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.) held a roundtable Wednesday with representatives from the German Embassy, as well as local business community leaders, to discuss those concerns and to find ways to bring additional German investments to the Mountain State.

“German companies want to be in the U.S. market because it’s such an important market globally because there’s so much innovation going on here,” said Boris Ruge, the minister/deputy chief of mission for the German Embassy in Washington, D.C. “But the tariffs have been an issue and that’s why we need to have that conversation with the executive branch, with the administration in Washington. That’s started, we have issues, but we’re moving in a good direction and we hope we can continue doing that.”

West Virginia is currently home to 26 German companies, of which three participated in Wednesday’s roundtable — Prebena North America Fastener Corporation based in Bridgeport, New Martinsville’s Covestro and Stockmeier Urethanes in Clarksburg, which hosted the event.

“For someone like me coming from the embassy in Washington, it’s always really useful to go out and to speak to people at the state and local level,” Ruge said. “I thought what was really helpful about this conversation today was that we had business community here, three German companies represented from this part of West Virginia, that we had the Chamber of Commerce, that we had the state level economic development and the Congressman, and that’s really helpful for us because there’s a lot of issues that you don’t really understand from the Washington perspective where it’s all abstract statistics. You have to speak to the businesses in order to understand what’s going on.”

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