A weekly round-up of news and happenings in German-American relations.

Business and Economics

The effects of Brexit notwithstanding, European companies have suffered an alarming decline in standing over the last decade compared to their American and Asian competitors. What happened? (Economist)

Germany to hike minimum wage: Just one year old, the minimum wage in Germany will increase by another 4 percent in 2017. Employers and union representatives disagree about the overall effect of the minimum-wage law so far, and the government hasn’t delivered a definitive verdict yet. (Handelsblatt)

Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel draws sharp criticism as Germany’s weapons exports reach highest level on record. Germany is the fifth largest weapons exporter after the U.S., Russia, China, and France; export licenses of $8.7 billion were granted by Berlin in 2015, nearly double the 2014 amount. (WSJ)

Foreign and Domestic Policy

As the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) begins its two-day summit in Warsaw on Friday, July 8, many are hoping that Brexit does not hijack discussions about deterrence to Russia, particularly in the Baltics and Poland. (Economist)

In the face of continued security concerns, President Obama announced that 8,400 U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan until the end of his term. He had previously planned to reduce them to 5,500 by year’s end as part of the drawdown of a 14-year war. (NYT)

Hillary Clinton uses Bernie Sanders and his ideas to welcome a possible proposal regarding changes in college tuition costs and plans. (NYT)

If the rest of the world could vote in U.S. presidential elections, Donald Trump would be facing a landslide loss. And in a recent Pew survey, only 9% expressed confidence in the presumptive Republican nominee’s ability to handle foreign affairs. (Economist)

Citing procedural errors, Austria’s highest court overturned the results of the nation’s presidential election, giving the far-right, anti-immigrant, eurosceptic candidate Norbert Hofer—who narrowly lost in May—a second chance to win in the October 2 re-vote. (BBC)

After investigations into Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, Justice Department announces that no charges will be made against Hillary Clinton, resulting in nationwide criticism and distrust in American democracy. (AP The Big Story)

Society, Culture, and Politics

With the planning of a new proposal offering debt-free college and the elimination of tuition for working families, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton hopes to appeal to the young for their votes. (Washington Post)

Donald Trump’s behavior in his campaign causes him to be criticized by the media and he responds with scapegoating political correctness. (Washington Post)

Risings levels of anti-semitism is causing internal disputes and potential splitting of Germany’s populist anti-immigration party AFD. (BBC)

Germany’s parliament has passed a new law defining rape, clarifying that #NeinHeisstNein (“#NoMeansNo”) even if a victim did not physically attempt to fight off an aggressor. Under the previous law, simply saying “No” was not sufficient to find the defendant guilty, and there was no attempt to define what constituted consent. (BBC)

At AICGS

AICGS is now accepting applications for the DAAD Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in German and European Studies. The application deadline is August 31, 2016.

AICGS is now accepting applications for the next round of DAAD fellowships. The application deadline for Spring 2017 (January 2017 – June 2017) is August 31, 2016.