Hermann Otto Solms, an official of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) in Germany, sharply criticized Clinton administration policies supporting regional trade blocs while visiting Atlanta last week.
Mr. Solms, chairman of the FDP’s parliamentary group, also criticized the administration’s negotiations with China’s admission to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
And he called for the revocation of the Helms-Burton Act, which penalizes foreign companies operating in Cuba.
“The vast number of agreements on tariffs, quotas, exemptions and transitional rules are simply counterproductive,” he said at a luncheon of the German American Chamber of Commerce held at the Swissotel.
He added that the agreements produce “trade distortions, discrimination and additional transaction costs for firms operating internationally.”
He said that the U.S. policy of mixing human rights and freedom of religion into the debate on China’s WTO membership would harm the liberal trading system.
He also charged that the sanctions under Helms-Burton restrict legal and trading sovereignty of other countries and pose a threat to the future development of international trade.
The FDP is a member of Germany’s ruling parliamentary coalition with the Christian Democratic Union (CDU).