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Economic Relations

Economic Relations

Last updated on February 23, 2016
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Cross Direct Investments (FDI)

Cross-border investments are the backbone of our economic partnership. Throughout decades of extensive cross-border investments, French and American subsidiaries have flourished in each other’s markets, and are driving the commercial relationship between our two countries. These affiliates illustrate the mutual benefits of this relationship, in terms of jobs and wealth creation. The US is the primary destination of French FDI, welcoming 18% of the total French FDI stock in 2014 – a 23.6% increase from 2013. French FDI flows to the US reached EUR 13.7 Bn in 2014, driven by manufacturing (EUR 4.2 Bn in flows in 2014) and financial and insurance services (EUR 4.3 Bn). The US hosts over 3600 subsidiaries of French firms, providing 560 000 jobs, and their turnover represents over 7 times the total amount of French exports to the US. The United States is the number-one foreign investor in France, representing 19% of the stock of foreign investment in France in 2014 (compared to 17% in 2013). American companies are the top employers in France among foreign companies, with roughly half a million jobs. In 2014, the US investment in France enabled the creation or maintenance of 5384 jobs. US firms are particularly involved in research & development: in 2014 they accounted for ¼ of the investment in R&D centers in France, and 28% of the associated employment. Geographically, American firms tend to focus their investments in the region “Ile de France”, which hosts 44% of US FDI. In terms of sectors, US investment concentrates on software and IT services (24% of total US investment).

Bilateral trade

France and the United States have developed a mature commercial relationship over the last decades, which has continued to grow in the last few years despite the domestic economic difficulties experienced by both nations. Although our bilateral trade decreased by 14% in the midst of the 2008 crisis, it came back to pre-crisis levels as early as 2011. Our total trade increased by 14.7% in 2015, reaching EUR 67.5 Bn. Each country ranks among the top destinations for each other’s exports: in 2015, France was the 12th largest client for US products worldwide, and the US was France’s 2nd global client -up 4 places since last year (6th client in 2014). In 2015, France’s export market share in the US (2%) was on an upward trend. The two countries share a balanced trade relationship, based on exchanges of high quality products such as transportation equipment, machinery, chemicals and pharmaceutical products. France’s primary trade surplus with the US is in the agrifood sector. The emergence of global value chains emphasizes the depth of our economic ties. When calculated on an added value basis (the share of French added value actually incorporated in a final product), French exports to the US are even higher.

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