By Peter Wittig, German Ambassador to the United States

WittigThe German Embassy celebrates the EU Open House every year. This year’s Open House – which I hosted in my residence – was again a great success. Nearly 8,000 visitors joined us!

I am delighted that we were able to welcome CLAAS – a household name in the German agricultural community – on our grounds. By showcasing a huge harvester – the JAGUAR 970 – CLAAS illustrated the importance of technology in today’s agricultural sector and its efforts to provide food to people worldwide.

CLAAS, a German family-owned business founded in 1913, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of agricultural engineering equipment and a member of AEM. CLAAS harvesters have been at work on American farms since the 1950s, and the company has been investing in the United States since 1979. Its U.S. headquarters is located in Omaha, Nebraska, where LEXION combine harvesters are assembled.

CLAAS is just one example of German mechanical engineering companies in the U.S. German companies have created nearly 700,000 well-paying jobs in America. They implement German-style training schemes for young people – a well-paid, debt-free and increasingly popular alternative to college.

Nearly 40 percent of German industrial direct foreign investment flows to the U.S. Many German brands produce directly at American plants for the entire world and are among the major U.S. exporters. Together, German and U.S. technology produce high-tech solutions; in traditional sectors, for the IT headquarters of Silicon Valley and the wind farms of Oklahoma. I am glad that CLAAS is one example of this fruitful cooperation.