On September 24, 2019, Business France, AmCham France and the United States Embassy met to discuss the major challenges of the transatlantic economic relationship. The Transatlantic Business Club brought together top-level stakeholders, including executives from Station F, IBM, Accenture, Hexcel Composites, Air Liquide, FedEx, EY, and Chubb France. Two roundtable discussions on important topics for the Franco-American business community were organized: - France - United States: cross-cutting research and innovation - Brexit and economic attractiveness: risks and opportunities
This is an opportunity to reflect on the close economic and commercial ties that unite our two countries.
The United States: France’s #2 customer
In 2018, 24,488 businesses exported to the United States from France, amounting to €38.4 billion, or 8% of French goods exports. The United States has overtaken France’s main European commercial partners, to become its second largest customer after Germany.
Taking advantage of the acceleration of growth in the United States (+2.8% in 2018), France's exports to the United States in 2018 grew particularly strongly, by around 12.9%. Combined with a reduction in imports, this improvement resulted in France's trade balance towards this market becoming positive in 2018.
France, the third largest European supplier to the United States In 2018, France was the third largest European supplier to the United States after Germany and the United Kingdom. The top three export sectors to the United States were transportation equipment, which accounts for 30% of French exports to the United States, as well as machinery and equipment and food processing, which accounted for 16.6% of the total and 11.5% of exports. Other sectors had export growth rates above 10%, such as the pharmaceutical or aerospace industries.
US subsidiaries located in France also contribute to the growth of the French economy In 2018, 1,461 US subsidiaries in France exported part of their production, worth €29 billion, representing an average of 27% of their total revenues. These companies primarily target the German market but also their parent company’s country of origin.
There were 232 investment decisions from the United States in 2018, representing one-fifth of jobs created or maintained by foreign investment projects More than 4,500 French companies are controlled by an American investor, employing more than 450,000 people.In 2018, France was the second host country for US job-creating investment in Europe, receiving 17% of projects identified, after the United Kingdom (21%) but ahead of Germany (15%).
In 2018, 232 investment decisions from the United States were recorded by Business France, a stable value compared with 2017, creating or maintaining 6,274 jobs, and representing 21% of all jobs induced by foreign investors. In 2018, the United States was the leading investor in France in terms of the number of investment projects and jobs. Investments by US companies primarily consist of decision-making centers (27%), with 13 HQ / Europe creations in 2018. American investment decisions in France also concern production functions (22%), business services (22%) and R&D, engineering and design (15%). What’s more, the majority of companies in the logistics sector are American, which account for 24% of projects and 58% of these jobs.
Twenty-five percent of US projects are in software and IT services, with 32% of foreign investments in this sector in 2018 coming from the United States. What’s more, US companies boast a strong position in the chemical/plastics industry, representing 46% of foreign projects for this sector. US investment decisions are located primarily in Ile de France (Paris region), with 41% of investments, followed by Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (11%) and Pays de la Loire (8%).
France’s key strengths as seen by American companies American companies believe that France has a number of key strengths. Firstly, it is home to many startups, SMEs and mid-size companies with high value added. What’s more, US companies consider France to be attractive because of its strategic geographical position, making it an export platform to the whole of Europe. France’s other strengths include a good transport infrastructure and a highly qualified workforce. US companies are also impressed by the French education system and the country’s network of leading schools that train some of the best researchers in the world.