May /2018
  AlabamaGermany Partnership   
1900 International Park Drive, Suite 105     Birmingham   AL 35243

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In This Issue
AGP German Culinary Dinner in Hoover
AGP Study Trip to Germany
Impact of Tariffs
Celebrating 25 years with Mercedes-Benz in Alabama
MBUSI Innovation Challenge
German-American Business Forum
ASMS Student Accepted for German Exchange Program
Dankeschön to our PATRON Members:



What to do in Alabama

Please note that the dates are shared to the best of our knowledge. If you plan to attend any of the events - please make sure to check information directly with the host of the event. Thank you! 

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AGP German Culinary Dinner in Hoover 

Join us for our 10th Culinary German Dinner at Brock's at Ross Bridge Golf Resort and Spa in Hoover. It will be a spectacular four-course German dinner prepared by Chef Robert Kamm for AGP members and guests. Our Chef is excited to be incorporating morel and asparagus in this dinner (and we are too!): 

Friday, May  18
7 pm to 10 pm
Brock's at Ross Bridge Golf Resort and Spa


1st Course:
Fennel-Apple Salad with Herb Vinaigrette
2nd Course:
Cream of Morel Soup
3rd Course:
Schweinelendchen mit Spargel,  Salzkartoffeln und Baerlauch Hollandaise
Seared Pork Tenderloin with White Asparagus, Boiled Potatoes and Ramp Hollandaise
4th Course:
Rhabarberkuchen an Honigparfait
Rhubarb cake and Honey Parfait

Please note this event is limited to 25 guests. Due to purchase of menu items specifically for this event, you must pre-register. 

This is a great opportunity to meet friends of AGP while enjoying a delicious meal. Don't miss out - make your reservation TODAY! 

AGP Study Trip to Germany

AlabamaGermany Partnership is organizing a study trip to Germany June 17 to June 22. The delegation is limited to 20 participants. SOLD OUT!

The trip starts with visiting FH Würzburg-Schweinfurt (University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt) to learn about the engineering student exchange between Germany and Alabama. The delegation will get to meet students and faculty from Auburn University and FH Würzburg-Schweinfurt University (FHWS). Plus tour several labs and learn about FHWS worldwide programs like mechatronics. We will meet president Robert Grebner and his team. Second day will include a visit to REHAU AG in Feuchtwangen. Apprenticeship (lehre) has been a long tradition in Germany and we will learn how REHAU use the system and its role in developing a skilled workforce. The delegation will see up close how the company has training classes set up. REHAU is represented in Alabama in Cullman. On the third day, we will visit Daimler AG - the Mercedes-Benz plant in Sindelfingen with more than 35,000 employees. The delegation will get a two hour tour of the plant and receive a special presentation on electric vehicle production & battery plant plus enjoy an Mercedes Appreciation Dinner. On the last day we will be participating in German-American Business Forum in Stuttgart hosted by the German American Chamber of Commerce. There will also be an opportunity to attend Global Connect - Forum for exports and internationalization. AGP will host a reception with Baden-Württemberg State Officials. 

In addition, the group will also get to experience the German culture with several cultural visits during the trip, and reception/dinners with network opportunities for business development.

Click here for tentative agenda.  Please e-mail the office to be added to the waiting list in case we have a seat that opens up.   

Impact of Tariffs on Alabama's Small Businesses
By Michael Brooks, Alabama International Trade Center 

Michael Brooks, Associate Director at Alabama SBDC Network & Alabama International Trade Center and AGP Board Member, presented at GACC South's "German Mittelstand" Forum in Birmingham in April.

We asked him to share his thoughts on the impact of tariffs with AGP's readers:

The impact of any federal regulation on smaller businesses is often lost in the 24-hour news cycle; this is especially true for import tariffs, which most media outlets only cover at a national or macro level. When viewed individually - and in geographically diverse locations across the country, the increased costs and lost jobs at small businesses are seemingly insignificant. Conversely, when one steel mill closes, the local impact is both significant and noticeable; politicians pay attention and the story appears on the nightly news and on social media.

On March 8, 2018, President Trump issued a proclamation, instructing the government to levy tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, citing the Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. While the majority of the statements issued by the administration - both in written and digital format - have focused on the large trade imbalance between the United States and China, Section 232 deals specifically with the impact of imports on national defense. After a year of study, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce published his findings in January 2018. The final report concludes that the current level of imported steel and aluminum products "adversely impacts the economic welfare of the U.S. steel economy," which in turn imperils our national security. In the report, the Department of Defense acknowledges that current "estimates for U.S. steel needs is now calculated to be three percent of U.S. steel production."

Regardless of the rationale used to justify the tariffs (set at 25% for steel products, and 10% for aluminum products), there is no doubt that both the producers and consumers of these products will be impacted.
Several steel manufacturers have already announced plans to open, re-open, or increase production at existing mills (US Steel, Republic Steel, Arcelor Mittal). One pair of economists - known for their work in studying the impact of tariffs- estimate that the tariffs could boost employment in US metals industries by over 33,000 jobs. In an election year, this one statistic can be leveraged to shape public opinion and easily justify the current trade strategy.


The Mercedes-Benz Club of America is having its national convention in Alabama in May. The theme of StarFest 2018 is "Celebrating 25 years with Mercedes-Benz in Alabama."

People often wonder how Mercedes-Benz came to Alabama and led the creation of the massive auto industry which now exists here. In 1993, Alabama made no automobiles. In 2017, Alabama made more than one million automobiles.

Four of the people who played a key role in Mercedes-Benz coming to Alabama were former Governor, Jim Folsom; former Alabama Power Company President, Elmer Harris; former Alabama Development Office Director, Billy Joe Camp; and Heinz Neunzig, former Export Director for  the Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen.

For the opening night reception, a panel of these distinguished gentlemen has been assembled to describe the amazing events of twenty-five years ago. Never before have these four people assembled together to tell this story.

The event's historic significance has prompted the Mercedes-Benz Club of America to allow a limited number of non-members to attend. The event is  Thursday, 17 May 2018, from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Birmingham, Alabama. The reception will include Museum admission and heavy hors d'oeuvres. Admission is $60 per person. To allow adequate time for space and food preparation, you must register by  7 May at .  Information about the entire convention schedule is available here:

MBUSI Innovation Challenge
Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc.

Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. is launching the 
"MBUSI Innovation Challenge" - an initiative is aimed at engaging Alabama's thriving college and professional startup community to tackle critical challenges faced in automotive production flow management, big data efficiencies, and digital communications.  
You can check out the website to learn more about the initiative - 
German-American Business Forum in Stuttgart, Germany

5th German-American Business Forum
Thursday, June 21, 2018
Stuttgart, Germany 
The event targets German companies that are seeking to establish business relationships within the US, and focuses on consulting, discussions, as well as workshops addressing practical questions about doing business in the USA.

ASMS Student Accepted for German Exchange Program
By Alabama School of Math and Science 

Alabama School of Math and Science (ASMS) senior, Veronica King, has been accepted to be a participant in the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) program. The CBYX program is a 10-month program designed for highly motivated high school students who want to experience a different culture and learn a language through full immersion. Created to strengthen ties between Germany and the United States, the program seeks to give students new perspectives on social, economic, and political life in Germany.

Although King is from the Wiregrass area of Alabama (near Dothan), her father's side of the family is German. While growing up, King's parents would use German as their "secret language," and she had always wanted to learn German to understand what they were saying. Since middle school, she has dreamed of moving to Germany or Switzerland, further driving her desire to become fluent in the language.

"I love the language, and it allows me to connect with my German side of the family better," King says. "I'm excited to take the German skills that I've learned at ASMS and test them out by being fully immersed in the German language. I hope to be fluent in German by the time the program is over."