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President Bush nominated new ambassador to Germany

Almost five months after Daniel Coats left Berlin, President Bush nominated William Robert Timken as US ambassador to Germany. Timken is an industrialist of German decent. (In 1838, his great-grandfather emigrated from Bremen with his parents and 59 years later patented a ball-bearing.) According to Deutsche Welle, he does not speak much German and "is known to be a vocal critic of Germany's refusal to support the US in its war on Iraq." His close access to the US president and his international business career, however, could help to make US-German relations more productive, especially if Chancellor Schroeder loses the elections in September.

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Anonymous on :

I am not so sure whether Timken is a good choice. According to Der Spiegel Timken's company benefits from US import tariffs that are considered anti-competitive by the World Trade Organization and that hurt German competitors. German companies have to pay millions of US-$ in those tariffs, which US customs transfers to Timken's company, who is a major donor of the Republican party. http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/0,1518,367495,00.html

Anonymous on :

Wash Times: The new U.S. ambassador to Germany, a wealthy industrialist, angered leading German business executives even before he landed in Berlin because his firm reaps tens of millions of dollars a year that targeted German companies pay in high U.S. tariffs. Ambassador William R. Timken Jr., former chairman of the Timken Co., headed one of the world's leading manufacturers of roller bearings, which are used in just about any machine with moving parts. He resigned his position when he accepted the ambassadorial appointment. His company is the chief beneficiary of tariffs imposed on Germany's roller bearing firms that Washington accuses of "dumping" their product at below the cost of manufacture on the U.S. market. The World Trade Organization ruled the tariffs illegal in 2003, but the Bush administration has ignored the WTO decision. Mr. Timken, also a major campaign fundraiser for President Bush, received an icy welcome in Germany from industrialists such as Jurgen Geissinger, president of the Federation of European Bearing Manufacturers Associations. http://washingtontimes.com/functions/print.php?StoryID=20050816-111429-1885r

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