EU27 surplus in trade in goods with USA of 63 bn euro in 2008

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EU TradeTaking goods and services together, the EU27 and the USA account for the largest bilateral trade relationship in the world. The significant amount of bilateral trade and investment illustrates a high degree of interdependence of the two economies.

On the occasion of the European Union – USA summit, which will take place on Sunday the 5th of April in Prague, Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities, has issued data on trade and investments between the USA and the EU27.

USA: 19% of EU27 exports of goods and 12% of imports

The EU27 has a structural surplus in trade in goods with the USA. This surplus rose steadily from 32 billion euro in 2000 to a peak of 94 bn in 2006, but has fallen for the last two years, to reach 63 bn in 2008. Over this period EU27 exports to the USA have risen slightly, from 238 bn in 2000 to 249 bn in 2008, while imports from the USA have fallen from 206 bn to 186 bn. In relative terms, EU27 exports to the USA fell from 28% of total EU27 exports in 2000 to 19% in 2008, and imports declined from 21% to 12% over the same period. While the USA remains the largest export destination for the EU27, it has been overtaken as the leading source of imported goods by China.

EU27 trade with the USA is dominated by manufactured goods. In 2008, more than two-fifths of EU27 trade flows with the USA were machinery and vehicles, while chemicals and other manufactured articles1 each accounted for around a fifth of imports and exports. At the detailed level, the main EU27 exports to the USA included motor cars, medicine and crude and refined oil, and the main imports aircraft and engines, motor cars and medicine.

Largest surpluses with the USA recorded by Germany, Italy and Ireland

Among the Member States, Germany was the largest exporter to the USA in 2008, with 71 bn euro, or 29% of the total, followed by the United Kingdom (43 bn or 17%), France (24 bn or 10%) and Italy (23 bn or 9%). The United Kingdom (37 bn or 20%) and Germany (34 bn or 18%) were also the largest importers, followed by the Netherlands (29 bn or 16%) and France (21 bn or 11%). The largest surpluses in trade with the USA in 2008 were registered by Germany (+37 bn), Italy (+11 bn), Ireland (+9 bn), the United Kingdom (+6 bn) and Sweden (+5 bn). The Netherlands2 (-12 bn) recorded the most significant deficit.

USA: 30% of extra-EU27 trade in services

In 2007, the EU27 exported 139 bn euro of services to the USA, while imports of services from the USA amounted to 128 bn, meaning that the EU27 had a surplus of 11 bn in trade in services with the USA. This surplus was mainly due to transportation services (+11 bn), as well as financial services (+9 bn) and insurance services (+6 bn), partially compensated by royalties and license fees (-14 bn). While the share of the USA in EU27 trade in services has fallen in recent years, it is still by far the EU27’s largest partner, accounting for 28% of EU27 exports of services and 31% of imports.

Among the Member States, and as for trade in goods, the United Kingdom (32% of total exports and 19% of total imports in 2007) and Germany (15% and 16% respectively) were the largest traders of services with the USA. The largest surpluses in 2007 were registered by the United Kingdom (+21 bn), Greece (+5 bn), France (+3 bn) and Belgium (+1 bn), and the largest deficits by Ireland (-18 bn), the Netherlands (-2 bn) and Finland (-1 bn).

Large increase in EU27 FDI flows with the USA

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows between the EU27 and the USA have grown strongly in recent years, with EU27 investment in the USA rising from 37 bn euro in 2005 to 108 bn in 2006 and 146 bn in 2007, while USA direct investment into the EU27 increased from 67 bn in 2005 to 77 bn in 2006 and 180 bn in 2007.

Among the Member States, the largest investors in the USA in 2007 were the United Kingdom (47 bn), France (23 bn), Luxembourg (20 bn) and Germany (16 bn), while the most significant destinations for US investment were the United Kingdom (40 bn), Luxembourg (23 bn), Ireland and France (both 17 bn).

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