Boise hosts town hall to help build German-American relations

Posted at 4:33 PM, Mar 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-09 18:35:54-05

BOISE — A new study by the Pew Research Group found that three out of four people in Germany believe the relationship between the United States and Germany got worse over the last year, that same study found that Americans think the relationship hasn't changed.

The American Council on Germany hosted a town hall at Boise State University which included several officials from Germany as well as Senator Jim Risch and others from Idaho.

The town hall included topics on economics and foreign policy as part of a larger initiative called the year of the German-American friendship, Risch is the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations.

"This is a good chance to get together and have a frank discussion on common interests with Germany, we do have a lot of common interests," said Risch.

The Germans are fearful of a potential U.S. tariff on their auto industry, however, the main reason they say for the disconnect with the German people is because of President Trump.

"Let me start by saying I think that we are going through a transition, times of tectonic changes," said Ricklef Beutin an official from Germany. "But I think that a relationship as close as ours can weather that and we can come to a common solution if we put our minds to it."

The Germans also told us they were impressed with Boise as this initiative aims to set up town halls in places other than coast cities, other locations for town halls include Salt Lake City and Phoenix.

"I find Boise to be not very far away at all in terms of mindset and interest in global affairs, European affairs and German affairs," said Beutin.