The German-American Caucus will serve as an informal, bipartisan group of Members dedicated to maintaining and strengthening the relationship between United States and Germany by highlighting our current economic ties with Germany and drawing attention to the heritage of German-American immigrants and achievements they have made in building the United States.
The Caucus will host a number of briefings and events to highlight German-American economic relationships, as well as those of a historical and cultural nature.
2011 CAUCUS MEMBERS
|Jim Gerlach (PA-06) – Co-chair
Tim Holden (PA-17) – Co-chair
Jason Altmire (PA-4)
Dan Burton (IN-05)
Charles W. Dent (PA-15)
Michael Grimm (NY-13)
Tom Marino (PA-10)
Tim Murphy (PA-18th)
Ed Perlmutter (CO-07)
Thomas E. Petri (WI-06)
||Todd Russell Platts (PA-19)
Bill Shuster (PA-09)
Glenn "GT" Thompson (PA-05)
Henry A. Waxman (CA-30)
Ted Poe (TX-02)
Todd Young (IN-09)
Dennis Ross (FL-12)
Steve Stivers (OH-15)
Jim Cooper (TN-05)
FACTS AND FIGURES
Germany is the largest economy in the European Union (EU) and the third largest in the world. Germany is also one of the world's leading exporters, with 8.7% of their exports coming to the United States. In addition, $54.5 billion of our products were shipped to Germany in 2008 alone.
German companies have created almost one million jobs within the United States, many of them in the field of manufacturing. The business relationship continues to grow with the recent multi-billion dollar investments by German companies in the United States.
An estimated 43 million Americans claim German ancestry, representing about 15 percent of the total U.S. population according to the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau. German-American inventors, scientists, physicians, civic leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, explorers, and those in other fields have made significant contributions to the quality of life we all enjoy.
RELATED GERMAN-AMERICAN SITES
German American Business Council – www.gabcwashington.com
German-American Heritage Foundation - www.gahfusa.org
GERMAN AMBASSADOR AMMON VISITS 6TH DISTRICT -- NOVEMBER 2012
Daily Local News Coverage
German ambassador visits Downingtown schools
By SARA MOSQUEDA-FERNANDEZ
DOWNINGTOWN – German Ambassador Peter Ammon and Congressman Jim Gerlach engaged students while touring the Downingtown S.T.E.M. Academy on Monday.
The stop at the STEM Academy was part of Ammon’s overall visit to Chester County and the surrounding area. Ammon was also part of a round-table discussion in the afternoon with the owners of German-owned companies located in the area, such as Siemens Medical Solutions.
“German businesses are big investors here in America and they create numerous jobs, in particular in Pennsylvania” said Ammon. “When you talk to investors and ask what kind of help they want, they say they need more people who have qualifications in STEM – sciences, mathematics, engineering. This seems to be the greatest bottleneck when you think about investing somewhere. It’s not subsidies, it’s not energy, it’s not government help. It’s the ability of qualified labor that seems to be in short supply worldwide. This school seems to be very outstanding in that way. I found that (the students) seem to be enthusiastic about technologies. They’re very advanced.”
The meet and greet event at the STEM Academy also included students and faculty from the German program. Students presented him with a gift, prior to German Language Department Head Jessica Staub leading a tour of the school.
Ammon said that the school’s International Baccalaureateprogram was another attractive aspect of the school, fostering an international awareness in the student body.
“They know the world, they know that they have to cooperate with their peers around the world,” said Ammon. “Globalization means that companies will no longer be American companies, they will be global companies. These young people would just be ideal to playing a role in those companies.”
Gerlach is a co-founder and current co-chairman of the bipartisan House German-American Caucus, which strives to build a closer relationship with the European nation to encourage additional investment in America.
In addition to providing a platform for educating German-based companies about the benefits of investing in our workforce in southeastern Pennsylvania, the German-American Caucus can help open German markets to American-made products.
It was through Gerlach’s work in the caucus that he was able to connect with Ammon, the German ambassador to the United States who is based in Washington, D.C., and later arranged the visit with him.
“I am pleased to welcome Ambassador Ammon to Downingtown (to learn) more about the innovative approach teachers and administrators have embraced to provide a world-class education,” said Gerlach. “This is an extraordinary opportunity for students to utilize their foreign language skills and gain a better understanding of German culture while interacting with Ambassador Ammon.”
The Downingtown Area School District has maintained a connection to Germany via an exchange program with German teachers and students for 20 years, as part of the German-American Partnership Program.
Reading Eagle Coverage
During visit to KU, German ambassador stresses education
Ron Devlin -- Reading Eagle
Germany's ambassador to the United States, Peter Ammon, said education is key to the future of both countries during a visit to Kutztown University on Monday.
At a luncheon with educators in the McFarland Student Union, Ammon said a national commitment to education underlies the vibrancy of Germany's economy, which is among the world's largest and the European Union's most stable.
About a decade ago, in the midst of a fiscal crisis, Germany took the bold step of pumping more money into education.
"In a moment of despair, we chose to allocate $30 billion euros for education," said Ammon, an economist. "Today, we are reaping the benefits."
The stopover in Kutztown was part of a swing through Berks and Lehigh counties, which also included meetings with German-owned companies in Lehigh.
U.S. Reps. Jim Gerlach and Charles Dent, both members of the German-American Caucus in the House, escorted the ambassador and his wife, Marliese Heimann Ammon.
Gerlach, who represents part of Berks, said the entourage had visited a technology magnet school in Downingtown, Chester County, before arriving in Kutztown.
Heralding the school's emphasis on science, engineering and math, Gerlach suggested technology is a crucial link between the German and American economies.
Dent, who represents Lehigh, said no bilateral relationship is more important to the United States than the one with Germany.
F. Javier Cevallos, Kutztown University president, presented Ammon with a barn star painted by Berks artist Eric Claypoole. And the Ammons were treated to a lunch of Pennsylvania Dutch food, including chicken schnitzel with brazed red cabbage and raspberry Linzer torte.
Dr. David L. Valuska, founder of the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center at KU, stressed the cultural connections between Berks County and Germany's Palatinate region.
"Kutztown University is at the crossroads of preserving the Pennsylvania German culture," said Valuska, professor emeritus at Kutztown.
Patrick Donmoyer, acting director of the heritage center, greeted the Ammons in the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect. His words, roughly translated, expressed how it was a great honor and true pleasure to gather and celebrate common heritage with neighbors.
Ammon, 60, appointed ambassador in August 2011, said the drive through Berks County had the look and feel of home. He also expressed a good feeling about the transatlantic alliance between Germany and America.
"We are very close cousins, and what I've seen here today gives me hope," he said. "I will take it home and tell my colleagues we have wonderful friends here."