Transatlantic trade reached an all-time high of 1.2 trillion euro in 2021. The Covid-19 crisis led to a temporary trade contraction: between 2019 and 2020, imports of goods from the United States to the EU fell by 13.6% but in 2021 they increased again by 14.5%. In the same period, the EU’s imports of services decreased for all main partners except for the United States and Singapore for which they increased.
Imports of goods from the US to the EU have increased significantly over the last decade: from €142 billion (1.29% of EU GDP) in 2010 to €235 billion (1.68% of GDP) in 2019. An increase in imports of goods from the US in absolute terms was recorded in 24 of the 27 member states, while as a percentage of GDP in 20 of the 27 member states.
In Greece, the percentage of US imports of goods in GDP recorded a slight increase (from 0.63% of GDP in 2010 to 0.67% in 2019), but in terms of value, imports of goods from the US to Greece decreased (from 1.4 billion euros in 2010 to 1.2 in 2019, at constant 2015 prices).
In 2021, the three largest importers of US goods in the EU were Germany (€53.6 billion), the Netherlands (€45.1 billion), and Belgium (€27.5 billion). As a percentage of GDP, Belgium (6%), the Netherlands (5.3%), and Ireland (4.1%) were the most dependent countries on US imports of goods.
In terms of the balance of goods between the EU and the United States, EU had a surplus (167 billion euros) in 2021. More specifically, the EU had trade surpluses in machinery & vehicles (€ 66 billion), chemicals (€ 58 billion), other manufactured goods (€ 48 billion), food & drink (€ 15 billion) and other goods (€ 5 billion). The EU had trade deficits in raw materials (€ 5 billion) and energy (€ 20 billion). The largest surplus was held by Germany followed by Italy and Ireland. Another 20 member states exported more goods to the US than they imported. Greece held a trade surplus with the US of 173 million euros in 2021.
The United States was, by far, the principal origin of extra-EU imports of services, accounting for approximately three tenths (30%) of the EU’s imports. The next highest shares were recorded for the United Kingdom (18 %) and Switzerland (7%). Imports of services from the US to the EU increased significantly in the period 2010-2019 (from 118 to 229 billion euros, and from 1.08% to 1.63% of EU GDP). In terms of value, in 2019 the largest importers of services from the US were Ireland (58.2 billion euros), Germany (43.2 billion), and the Netherlands (36.5 billion). As a percentage of GDP, the share of imports of services from the US increased in 20 Member States, while in absolute terms there was an increase in 26 Member States. Greece is the only country in the EU where the value of imports of services from the US declined (from €2.95 billion in 2010 to just €656 million in 2019, at constant 2015 prices) and their share of GDP decreased (from 1.31 % in 2010 to 0.37% in 2019).
In contrast to the trade balance of goods, EU ran a trade deficit for services with the US (€78 billion) in 2020. The largest deficit was held by Ireland (€74 billion), a major importer of financial and other business services from the US. Of the remaining 26 member states five had a trade surplus while 21 had a trade deficit for services.
Greece also held a surplus in the balance of services with the USA in 2020. But the volume of bilateral trade between Greece and the US is relatively small and is decreasing. From a different perspective, there is nowadays room for tightening bilateral trade relations between Greece and the United States.