Representative of German Industry and Trade

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of German Industry and Trade
RGIT rgb small 1.jpg
Founded 11. August 1988
  • Washington, D.C.
Key people
  • Delegate: Thomas Zielke
  • Deputy: Kevin Heidenreich
Employees 8
Thomas Zielke, Representative of German Industry and Trade
BDI President H.-P. Keitel at a RGIT-Conference
RGIT-Conference "Skilled Labor": Thomas Zielke, Martin Wansleben (DIHK), Tony Zeiss (Central Piedmont Community College, NC), Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-5th NC), Hans-Peter Mengele (IHK Karlsruhe)

The Representative of German Industry and Trade (RGIT) is the Washington, DC liaison office of the Federation of German Industries (BDI) and the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK). Thomas Zielke has been the Representative of German Industry and Trade since January, 2011.


RGIT represents positions and concerns before the US Administration, Congress as well as international organizations in Washington, DC on behalf of the elected representatives of the German industry. The liaison office cultivates contacts to companies, trade and business associations, political foundations as well as think tanks, and reports regularly on current economic policy developments in the US. RGIT’s mission is to foster transatlantic free trade and support a favorable business environment in order to achieve sustainable economic growth, to robust employment numbers and to foster innovation in German-American business relations.

Principals: BDI and DIHK[edit]

RGIT’s principals are the BDI und DIHK. The BDI represents 37 sector associations, 15 regional offices, and approx. 100,000 companies, with a total workforce of about eight million employees. The DIHK represents the interests of the 80 German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (CCIs) and their 3.6 million member companies from industry, trade and service sectors. RGIT is supported by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) as part of their foreign trade promotion. RGIT also represents the "Deutsche Gesellschaft für International Zusammenarbeit" (GIZ) in the US.


  • Represents the interests of the German business community before all branches of the federal government, as well as before international organizations such as the World Bank and IMF, by direct advocacy, and by presenting position papers, statements, and briefs;
  • Reports regularly to its principals and its members on developments relating to political and economic issues, as well as on legislative activities in the US;
  • Provides its partners in the US with information on German business;
  • Hosts events and briefings on a range of trade and investment related issues, and fosters an exchange of information for experts in ranging from transatlantic trade to economic and industrial policy;
  • Organizes and implements delegation trips and networking events, and serves as a hub where government, industry, academia, policy institutions and think tanks can come together to discuss matters relevant to the transatlantic community;
  • Cooperates closely with the German American Chambers of Commerce (GACC) in New York, Atlanta, and Chicago;
  • Provides information and support to the GACC network of over 2,500 member companies;


  • Economically relevant legal issues and current regulation, for example intellectual property rights, public procurement law, immigration law, environmental law, tax code
  • Trade Policy
  • Climate and Energy Policy
  • Labor Market Policy
  • Education Policy
  • International Financial Institutions


  • Washington News (German Edition): covers current political and economic developments in the United States that are relelvant for German business and transatlantic trade
  • Im Blickpunkt (German Edition): examines in more depth current topics of relevance to German business
  • Legislative and Regulatory Update: reports on the most important news from the US Congress as well as new regulations and standards that are relevant to German business
  • German American Trade Magazine (GAT): informs German businesses in the US about political developments and provides them with information on developments relevant to their industries as well as upcoming events of AHK USA and RGIT.


  • 1988–1995: Lothar Griessbach
  • 1995–2000: Jakob Esser
  • 2000–2005: Robert Bergmann
  • 2005–2010: Bernhard Welschke
  • 2011–present: Thomas Zielke

External links[edit]