EU and U.S. business leaders met in Washington D.C. for the ‘Transatlantic Business Works’ summit jointly organized by BusinessEurope and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The summit highlighted the benefits of the trade and investment relationship between the U.S. and Europe and helped foster the dialogue about new opportunities for advancement and growth.

Markus J. Beyrer, Director General of BusinessEurope, said: “The EU and the U.S. share opportunities and concerns and are equally affected by trade distortions. A trade war is not the answer to address shortcomings in the international trading system. Neither is recurring to disguised protectionism. We rather need concrete proposals building a positive agenda for change. We need a strong multilateral trading system and a functional WTO. Concerted actions have proven to be more effective in the long-term and are critical to the stability and the growth of Transatlantic ties.”

At this crucial moment, the main objective of European business is to avoid such major disruptions and ensure that companies in Europe and the US can sustain investment and trade flows. While calling for the permanent exclusion of the EU from additional tariffs on steel and aluminum, the European business community stands ready to engage on both bilateral and global issues with US colleagues including trade.

“We can, and we must strengthen our relationship further. We need to be the drivers of change, in a changing world, together. As business we are prepared to play a proactive and constructive role. This is the reason why we are here today. The Transatlantic trade and investment relationship should remain strong, create growth and jobs in Europe and the U.S. In 2017, 54 per cent of the global investment in the U.S. came from Europe. European companies in the U.S. directly employ about 4.3 million workers.”

Source: BusinessEurope

April 13, 2018

USCC: Reminder – Transatlantic trade powers prosperity

While the rise of emerging markets from Asia and Africa to the Americas has captured attention in recent years, it’s easy to overlook that the United States and the European Union remain the world’s largest – and in many ways, most prosperous – economies.

What’s more, the flow of transatlantic trade represents by far the largest commercial relationship in the world, accounting for fully one-third of global gross domestic product (GDP) and supporting an estimated 15 million jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.

As global economic leaders, the United States and the European Union have benefitted tremendously from open markets, free enterprise, and the global rules-based trading system. More than any other countries, we built this system together, and it pays us dividends every single day.

  • The United States and EU are one another’s largest trading partners and by far each other’s largest foreign investors. Consider these facts:
  • Europe accounted for more than half of global foreign direct investment (FDI) flows into the United States last year.
  • European companies employ more than 4 million Americans in every single state across the country.
  • R&D expenditures by these same entities – which exceeded USD 40 billion in 2015 – account for nearly three-quarters of all R&D performed by majority foreign-owned affiliates across the United States.
  • Fully 10 percent of U.S. goods exports were generated by European-headquartered companies in 2015.
  • Equally robust numbers characterize U.S. investments in and exports to the European Union.
  • Nearly two-thirds of U.S. global foreign investment went to Europe in 2017.
  • U.S. services exports to Europe reached USD 279 billion in 2016, accounting for more than a third of total U.S. services exports.
  • Sales by European affiliates of U.S.-headquartered firms hit USD 3 trillion in 2016, nearly one and a half times as much as total U.S. exports to the world.

What these figures demonstrate is simple: The United States and European Union benefit handsomely from one another’s prosperity.

Good friends can have their differences, and the U.S.-EU relationship is no exception. Since negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) were paused in 2016, relations have frayed.

Policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic have shifted their attention elsewhere and have advanced proposals that add to the strain. European proposals to tax large digital American companies raise the specter of a “tax war.” This comes on top of suggestions of a potential “trade war” arising from U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, which may yet hit Europe if the current temporary exemption is not extended.

There are legitimate policy divergences to address, and there are shared challenges that are best tackled together. Despite our differences, it is essential that we not lose sight of the benefits of the USD 5.5 trillion economic relationship between the United States and Europe for American workers, consumers, and businesses. When you overlay these commercial ties on top of our shared history, common values, and mutual strategic interests, you have a relationship that is by definition second to none.

With this special relationship comes special responsibility. We must jointly address current threats to the global trading system, such as Chinese policies that disadvantage non-Chinese firms in that country. We must also tackle emerging challenges head on, like striking the right balance between protecting national security and individual privacy without unduly hampering the robust data flows that fuel today’s global economy.

Both the U.S. and EU must remain committed to a global rules-based paradigm and work together to set better and more effective rules fit for today’s reality. After all, if we don’t play by the rules we’ve set, how can we expect others to do so?

The business community demonstrates its commitment to this relationship on a daily basis. Next week, the U.S. Chamber and BusinessEurope will jointly host an inaugural Transatlantic Business Works Summit at which companies will discuss ways to deepen our ties in such critical sectors as infrastructure, energy, and the digital economy.

The litany of complaints that the U.S. and Europe have lodged with one another over the last four decades is long and multi-faceted. The differences we must confront are real and not insignificant. Some are bridgeable, while others may not be.

Whether we do this in the context of a comprehensive trade negotiation or some other fashion is a conversation for another day. The bottom line is that government leaders and policymakers owe it to the millions of Americans and Europeans whose futures are tied to the transatlantic relationship to jointly foster opportunities and address global challenges.

The costs of inaction are great but the opportunity arising from shared prosperity is immense.

Marjorie Chorlins
Executive Director, U.S.-UK Business Council
Vice President, European Affairs

Source: USCC