Transatlantic Week in Brussels Begins: What is the State of Transatlantic Trade in 2019?

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Amcham Finland has co-sponsored the publication of Transatlantic Economy 2019, a comprehensive annual survey on the state of the transatlantic economy.

European Amchams gather in Brussels today for the launch of the annual survey of the Transatlantic Economy, a project spearheaded by the American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, along with the American Chambers of Commerce in Denmark, Ireland, Slovenia and Sweden.

The wide-ranging survey concludes that politics trumped the economy as a matter of public attention in 2018 and might do so in 2019. Political conflict and its potential economic consequences have encouraged the world to watch transatlantic trade policy actions with intensity. Amcham Finland has repeatedly been asked to comment on such developments.

Key stakeholders ask, “Where are we heading? With immense uncertainty surrounding tariffs, sanctions and Brexit, what can we expect going forward?”

First, the good news. Transatlantic trade is doing well. The U.S. and EU still account for a third of global GDP and half of all global personal consumption. The linkage between western economies is strong and interdependent. Even compared to the combined output of China and India, transatlantic trade remains larger in volume and wealth.

However, a wave of change is on the horizon. Last year’s study highlighted synchronization of expanding economies on both sides of the Atlantic, but the latter half of 2018 showed a different story. Growth in Europe slowed down, and it’s projected to keep doing so. The opposite is happening in America. The country is still experiencing its longest economic expansion in modern history. Although the International Monetary Fund projected in January that some slowdown will happen in 2020, the U.S. economy will not run out of steam in the short-term.

An important foundation for the transatlantic trade relationship is shared values. The link of economies was initially forged during uncertain times, and both economies are well-served by remembering the role of trade in guaranteeing peace and prosperity.

Interconnectedness of the transatlantic economy makes for a mutually dependent relationship. Digitalization is the biggest transformer of the global economy, but the pace of change among countries is uneven.

One example of this disparity is the platform economy. Europe is not only falling behind the U.S., it’s also trailing a fast-paced and less restricted China. Now is the time for the EU to double down on its efforts to create a Digital Single Market during the mandate period of the next EU Commission. It must align its fragmented regulation and support innovation even more ambitiously.

The Transatlantic Survey suggests the EU can gain €572 billion in annual consumption if it harnesses the platform economy and taps into unused potential of the Single Market.

Amcham Finland will promote this study as we go forward, and we look forward to engaging with you on these important matters.

2019-03-20T13:35:43+00:00