By William Boston

BERLIN--Germany's automotive industry called on President-Elect Donald Trump to abandon his tough opposition to free-trade agreements expressed while on the campaign trail, warning that protectionism could hurt the global economy.

"We can only hope that the election campaign was the cause of many of his announcements and that his actions while governing will be marked by a moderate course," Matthias Wissmann, head of the German Association of the Automotive Industry, said in a statement.

Mr. Wissmann urged the new U.S. government to avoid protectionist measures and instead work with its trading partners to lower barriers to trade, especially on proposals for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Pact, or TTIP, between the U.S. and the European Union.

"We hope that there will be further momentum for TTIP--also with Donald Trump," said Mr. Wissmann. "More protectionism or additional trade barriers would hurt the United States as well as its trading partners."

The U.S. is the second-largest export market for German automotive goods after the U.K.

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 09, 2016 06:00 ET (11:00 GMT)

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