A major upheaval is currently taking place: the energy partnership with Russia broke up due to the war. Olaf Scholz is looking for new suppliers. But Joe Biden and Boris Johnson also need new business partners.

In the movie “The Ice Storm” there is a scene of a cheating party. All couples see themselves as “modern”, which the participants underline with erotic lasciviousness in order to demonstrate their willingness to change. And so the men then throw their car keys into an empty fruit bowl, from which the women randomly pull a key at the end of the party.

The cars with the newly combined couples speed off for a one-night stand. The viewer is released into the head cinema.

Which brings us to Joe Biden and Olaf Scholz. The two heads of government are not erotic, but they are economically stimulated. They are not courting, but are looking for new partners. They want to escape the sadness of their previous partnership with China and the impossibility of a partnership with Putin’s Russia.

So Joe Biden is touring through Asia these days, just like Olaf Scholz is moving smoothly through three African countries. Both motives are obvious to everyone:

So what we can state: The world of business is rearranging itself. Fresh partners are everywhere. The disintegration of the old supply and dependency relationships is also the starting point for a reformatting. The newly established cooperation and joint ventures are the diapositive of the dianegative of the sanctions regime. The motto of the former US President Calvin Coolidge (1923 to 1929) could serve as a motto for Biden: “The Business of America is Business”.

1. The countries grant each other tariff advantages and reduce bureaucratic hurdles. This helps unleash growth. In free trade only those who do not participate lose.

2. The states function as quartermasters for their large corporations in the energy, armaments, auto and pharmaceutical businesses, for which they roll out the carpet to become political friends. It’s about uniform regulation, for example for medicines or engine limit values.

3. The formation of trade blocs often precedes closer political cooperation. The best example: Europe. First the European Coal and Steel Community was founded, which eventually developed into the internal market, which then became the European Union and the European Central Bank.

The comforting conclusion is: The system of the exchange of goods and services that increases the prosperity of nations, as David Ricardo imagined it, is not left and not right, not black and not white, not American and not Russian, but reasonable. The free trade of nations can be irritated by wars and threats of war, but they cannot be ended.

Gabor Steingart is one of the best-known journalists in the country. He publishes the newsletter The Pioneer Briefing. The podcast of the same name is Germany’s leading daily podcast for politics and business. Since May 2020, Steingart has been working with his editorial staff on the ship “The Pioneer One”. Before founding Media Pioneer, Steingart was, among other things, CEO of the Handelsblatt Media Group. You can subscribe to his free newsletter here.