Disruption of U.S. - European Union Trade Relations

Authors: Barbara Hahn*, Wurzburg University
Topics: Economic Geography
Keywords: world trade, trade relations
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: 8210, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Disruption of U.S. – European Union Trade Relations The United States of America and China are the most important trading partners of the European Union (EU). In 2017 19.2 percent of merchandise from the EU were exported to the U.S. (China 10.1 %), and 13.5 % of all merchandise imports to the E.U. came from the U.S. (China 19.9 %). While the U.S. has been suffering from a huge trade deficit for some time, the E.U. had a minimal surplus in merchandise trade in 2017. Germany is the strongest exporter in the EU and has had a huge trade surplus for many years. President Trump is citing these or similar figures when he is talking about “fair trade” or rather “unfair trade” with the EU and calls for renewed Trans-Atlantic-Partnership talks. He is introducing import tariffs for goods from the E.U. and China. But trade is more complex than figures for merchandise imports and exports. E.g. trade in services which is more balanced is often not mentioned. Besides other than fifty years ago due to globalization all production relies on complex commodity chains. Thus tariffs on imports do not necessarily help American workers because imports become more expensive. Even though it is not yet clear which products will be included in new trade negotiations and which industries will suffer most, well established trade relations have already been disrupted and have already become fragile. The paper looks at some examples of disrupted trade relations between the United States and the EU.

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