Germans defend exports as US Treasury's Lew visits

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Associated Press

Posted on January 8, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 8 at 9:03 AM

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's finance minister is defending his country's trade surpluses as his U.S. counterpart continues a push for Europe and its biggest economy to do more to fuel domestic demand and investment.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew visited Berlin Wednesday on a trip that also includes stops in France and bailed-out Portugal. His talks with Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble came a few hours after official data showed that Germany's trade surplus widened in November.

Germany has long faced criticism from the U.S. and others for relying too heavily on its exports and not importing enough to boost other economies in what is now the 18-country eurozone. But Schaeuble argued that Germany's trade surplus helps the eurozone's export performance.

Germany's new government plans to introduce a national minimum wage and invest in infrastructure.

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