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Transnational relations between EU and USA (Economic dimension)
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1. EU-US bilateral economic relations
The economies of the European Union and of the United States are becoming more intertwined and interdependent. Particularly over the last decade, this far-reaching and powerful momentum has driven our economies ever further towards the creation of an open and integrated transatlantic marketplace. Businesses on both sides of the Atlantic now invest and produce overseas much more than they export from their national borders. The following figures show that the EU-U.S. economic relationship is not only vital to the health of the global economy but it also directly supports almost 12 million jobs.
The European Union and the United States are the leading players in international trade, accounting for 37% of world merchandise trade, and 45% of world trade in services in 20021. They are also the largest source and destination of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), accounting for 54% of total world inflows and 67% of total world outflows in 2000. Within this framework, the transatlantic bilateral economic relationship is the most important globally, and is both highly advanced and substantially balanced.
The EU and the U.S. are each other’s single largest trading partner (in goods and services), and each other's most important source and destination for foreign direct investment (FDI). In 2002 two way cross-border trade in goods and services (exports and imports) amounted to more than €650 billions (€412 billions in goods and €238 billions in services)2. The EU and the U.S. each account for around 21% of each other’s total trade in goods. It is estimated that trade in high-technology products accounts for 20% of EU/U.S. merchandise trade3. Transatlantic trade represents 39% of EU and 35% of U.S. total cross-border trade in services. In 2001 EU-US trade in services accounted for 36% of total bilateral trade (goods + services), up from 33% in 19884. Trade statistics measure cross-border flows of goods and services and thus provide only a partial measure of the extent of economic integration among economies. They overlook the fact that firms often opt for selling goods and services abroad through their foreign affiliates rather than exporting them from their domestic market. For the U.S.-EU commercial relationship, it is important therefore to take into account other linkages because the two economies are increasingly connected by capital flows, notably FDI, contributing to expand bilateral trade flows.
The EU and U.S. have by far the world's most important bilateral investment relationship, and they are each other's most important source and destination for FDI. In other words, EU and U.S. companies invest more in each other’s economies than they do in any other area of the world. The EU and the U.S. accounted in 2001 for 49% and 46% respectively of each other’s outward FDI flows. The EU accounted for 54% of US inward FDI and the US for 69% of EU inward FDI5.
Over the period 1998-2001 the US was the destination of 52% of EU outward FDI flows and the source of 61% of EU inward FDI. Nearly three-quarters of all foreign investment in the U.S. in the 1990s came from Europe (US$659 billion). Levels of FDI flows between the EU
1 These figures do not include intra-EU trade.
2 Data for services are provisional.