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United States

United States

The European Union and the United States have the largest bilateral trade and investment relationship and enjoy the most integrated economic relationship in the world.




Trade picture

  • Total US investment in the EU is three times higher than in all of Asia.
  • EU investment in the US is around eight times the amount of EU investment in India and China together.
  • EU and US investments are the real driver of the transatlantic relationship, contributing to growth and jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. It is estimated that a third of the trade across the Atlantic actually consists of intra-company transfers.
  • The transatlantic relationship also defines the shape of the global economy as a whole. Either the EU or the US is the largest trade and investment partner for almost all other countries in the global economy.
  • The EU and the US economies account together for about half the entire world GDP and for nearly a third of world trade flows.

EU-USA: Trade in goods

Trade in goods 2018-2020, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2018 214.7 351.2 136.5
2019 232.6 384.4 151.8
2020 202.6 352.9 150.3

EU-USA: Trade in services

Trade in services 2017-2019, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2017 193.1 174.1 -19.0
2018 199.0 184.8 -14.2
2019 221.5 205.0 -16.5

EU-USA: Foreign direct investment

Foreign direct investment 2019, € billions
Year Inward stocks Outward stocks Balance
2019 2003.1 2161.5 158.3

Unless otherwise mentioned “EU” concerns for all indicated years the current European Union of 27 Member States.

Date of retrieval: 12/04/2021

More statistics on United States

EU and United States

Given the low average tariffs (under 3%), the key to unlocking this potential lies in the tackling of non-tariff barriers. These consist mainly of customs procedures and behind the border regulatory restrictions.

The non-tariff barriers come from diverging regulatory systems (standards definitions notably), but also other non-tariff measures, such as those related to certain aspects of security or consumer protection.

The Transatlantic Economic Council was set up in 2007 to guide the work on transatlantic economic convergence. The TEC is the only EU-US high level forum in which economic issues can be discussed in a coherent and coordinated manner. It brings together a range of ongoing economic cooperation activities in issues of mutual interest and provides a platform to give political guidance to this work. It also provides a political forum for discussing strategic global economic questions.

The TEC brings together members of the European Commission and the US Cabinet who have political responsibility for closer economic ties. Three "advisory" groups have been set up to help guide the work of the TEC:

In addition, civil society is consulted on the TEC's objectives and debriefed after its annual meetings.

Inevitably for two economies of such size with such a high volume of trade, the EU and the US encounter a number of trade disputes which are handled through the dispute settlement mechanism of the WTO.

Although they tend to grab headlines, these disputes currently only affect some 2% of EU-US trade.

The TTIP negotiations were launched in 2013 and ended without conclusion at the end of 2016. A Council decision of 15 April 2019 states that the negotiating directives for the TTIP are obsolete and no longer relevant.

Trading with the United States