Global trade and Investment

Europe has a largely healthy set of bilateral trade relationships, with surpluses and deficits that reflect relative consumption preferences and production strengths. But Europe’s share of global trade is declining and our companies face barriers to trade and investment in many countries. Almost eight million jobs in the EU are supported by foreign investment from outside the EU. European leadership in FDI is also under threat from competition in Asia and elsewhere.

We can no longer take for granted that European households and businesses will continue to enjoy the benefits from openness. The EU’s economic diplomacy must help to reverse the trend towards protectionism and government interventions intended to distort trade while taking appropriate measures to guarantee fair trade and to avoid any detrimental effect on European industry. We must also ensure Europe remains competitive as a destination — and a source — for market-based direct investment.

The US remains the single most important trade and investment partner for the EU, with the EU and the US highly dependent on each other as a source of investment, as an export market, and a source of intermediate inputs into production. Over three million American jobs are supported by EU investment.

Politicians in the EU, the US, and elsewhere, must continue to make a strong case for openness to foreign investment — and fair and equal treatment for foreign investors — because it supports jobs, makes businesses more competitive, and benefits consumers by increasing choice and reducing the price of goods and services.
The EU27 and UK economies are interdependent
The transatlantic relationship is essential
The global trade outlook is uncertain
Barriers to trade and investment are widespread
EU trade looks both East and West
EU leadership in FDI is being challenged
FDI supports jobs
The EU needs to catch up in digital services