Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, the U.S. market share, the political situation if relevant, the top reasons why U.S. companies should consider exporting to this country, and other issues that affect trade, e.g., terrorism, currency devaluations, trade agreements.
Last Published: 7/2/2018
The United States and the European Union (EU), with its 28 Member States, enjoy a mature economic relationship that is characterized by $5.1 trillion in two-way investment as of 2016.[1] In 2017, Transatlantic trade flows (goods and services trade plus earnings and payments on investments) averaged $5.2 billion each day.  U.S. exports of goods and services to the EU-28 in 2017 reached approximately $503 billion and imports from the EU, 623.4 billion.[2] It is estimated that transatlantic commerce generates more than 15 million jobs. U.S. and European foreign affiliates directly employed 8.7 million workers in 2015 which is a four percent increase over 2014.[3] The latest transatlantic economy report uses the same data of 2015.
The EU winter interim forecast released on 7 February 2018 predicts that the transition from economic recovery to expansion will continue.  The EU area is estimated to have grown 2.4% in 2017, which is 0.6 percent points higher than the estimations made in the Autumn Forecast released in February 2017. The Euro area has performed in a similar way. This performance is set to continue in 2018 and 2019 with a growth of 2.3% and 2.0% respectively in both the EU and the Euro Area.
Domestic demand is expected to remain the main driver of growth for the next several years. Euro Area inflation is projected at 1.5% in 2018 and 1.6% in 2019. Debt levels are beginning to decline, primarily due to low interest rates, reaching 90.4% in the Euro Area in 2017 from 91.1% in 2016. 9.6% unemployment is forecast for 2017 in the Euro Area and 8.1% in the entire EU.
Downside risks include a slowdown in emerging markets, particularly China, continued high geopolitical tensions, and uncertainty of oil price movements or financial market turmoil. Domestic risks include the uncertainty surrounding the UK’s impending exit from the EU, the migration crisis, and a possible reemergence of an economic crisis in Greece.
U.S. business may benefit from the EU’s border-free Schengen area which covers 22 of the 28 EU Member States[4] and eases the movement of goods and people across air, land, and sea borders.  Ireland and the U.K. have opted out of the Schengen and it is not certain when Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania will join.  While the United Kingdom’s plan to depart the European Union provides uncertainty, the remaining 27 EU countries continue to be a strong market for the United States with goods and services exports to the EU 27 in 2015 of $369.3 billion.
The transatlantic digital economy is an important pillar in the overall U.S.-EU economic and commercial relationship
With the United States and EU representing the two largest net exporters of digitally deliverable services in the world.  Sixty-two percent of U.S. services exports in 2015 – representing $184.2 billion -- were delivered digitally.  Over half of digitally delivered services imported to the United States from the EU are used to produce U.S. products for export, and vice-versa. 
[1] USTR Trade Report 2018
[2] US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
[3] The Transatlantic Economy 2017, Annual Survey of Jobs, Trade and Investment between the U.S. and Europe; Daniel Hamilton and Joseph Quinlan and EuroData February 13, 2018
[4] Twenty-two EU Member States and four European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Member States participate in the Schengen Area. Of the six EU members which do not form part of the Schengen Area three – Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania – are legally obliged to join the area, while the other two – Ireland and the United Kingdom – maintain opt-outs. Four non-EU members – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland – participate in the Schengen Area.

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.

European Union 28 Trade Development and Promotion