The author undertakes an analysis of trade relations between Germany and the states which joined the EU in 2004. First, he examines whether enlargement of the EU really resulted in a rapid intensification of trade contacts, taking previous enlargements of the EU as a point of reference. He then analyzes different types of trade relations, assuming the hypothesis that interbranch trade requires more extensive structural adaptations than intrabranch trade. In order to assess the scope of the latter he develops a new understanding of measurement, derived directly from the concept of comparative costs. The author concludes that enlargement of the EU to the East did not influence Germany's foreign trade in any significant way. European agreements signed in the early 1990s between the EU and the candidate states from Central and Eastern Europe reduced the trade barriers to such an extent that the effects of enlargement to the East could occur in the area of trade already before the official accession.