EU - Country Commercial Guide
Market Overview

Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, and other issues that affect trade.

Last published date: 2021-10-18

The United States and the 27 Member States of the European Union share the largest economic relationship in the world.  U.S. goods and services two-way trade with the European Union totaled an estimated $1.1 trillion in 2019, and the total stock of transatlantic investment was $4.4 trillion, according to the United States Trade Representative.[1]  As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the economy of the European Union, which represents nearly 500 million consumers, entered a sudden recession in the first half of 2020 with the deepest contraction of output in Europe since World War II.  As a result of the containment measures that were introduced to combat the pandemic, the economy of the eurozone operated between 25% and 30% below its capacity during the strictest period of confinement, according to the European Commission Summer 2020 European Economic Forecast.  According to the European Commission Summer 2021 European Economic Forecast, the economy of the eurozone contracted by 6.5% in 2020, but has been forecasted to grow by 4.8% in 2021 and 4.5% in 2022.  Inflation in the eurozone is calculated to be 1.4% in 2022, according to that forecast.

U.S. businesses continue to benefit from the European Union’s border-free Schengen area, which eases movement across air, land, and sea borders.  This area which covers 22 of the 27 EU Member States, along with non-members Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.  Ireland (and the United Kingdom) opted out of the Schengen area, and it is not certain when Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania will join, even though they are legally obligated to do so.

[1] The 27 member states of the European Union are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.