Trading places: Who are the UK and Germany’s biggest trade partners?

Published: 8th Jun 2018

In brief

Claim

Germany’s biggest export market is America.

Conclusion

Correct, Germany exported €111 billion worth of goods and services to the USA in 2017.

 

Germany’s second biggest export market is China.

 

Incorrect. In 2017 France was Germany’s second largest export market, and China was third.

 

The UK’s biggest export market is Germany.

 

Incorrect. The USA is the UK’s biggest export market. We exported almost £100 billion of goods and services to the USA in 2016. Germany is our second biggest export market at around £49 billion.

Claim 1 of 3

“Germany’s biggest export market is America and its second biggest export market is China. Our biggest export market is Germany.”

Richard Reed, 7 June 2018.

It’s incorrect that the UK’s largest export market is Germany, in 2016 that title went to the USA. Germany is our biggest export market in the EU, though.

In 2016 we exported around £100 billion worth of goods and services to the USA (18% of our total exports) and £49 billion to Germany (9% of our total exports).

However our trade deficit with Germany, that’s the gap between the amount we export and the amount we import, is higher than with any other country. In 2016 we imported about £26 billion more from Germany than we exported to it. That was closely followed by China, we imported about £25 billion more from than we exported to it.

We exported around £33 billion more from the USA than we imported from it in 2016.The USA is also Germany’s largest export market. Around €111 billion was exported there in 2017—9% of its total exports. That was followed closely by France at €105 billion. China is Germany’s third largest export market with €86 billion exported there in 2017.

China is Germany’s biggest importer, at €101 billion in 2017.

This factcheck is part of a roundup of BBC Question Time. Read the roundup.


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