EU-U.S. Economic Ties: Framework, Scope, and Magnitude [Updated October 17, 2007]   [open pdf - 96KB]

From the Summary: "The United States and the European Union (EU) economic relationship is the largest in the world -- and it is growing. The modern U.S.-European economic relationship has evolved since World War II, broadening as the six-member European Community expanded into the present 27-member European Union. The ties have also become more complex and interdependent, covering a growing number and type of trade and financial activities. […] It is a relationship that is likely to grow in importance assuming the trends toward globalization and the enlargement of the EU continue, forcing more trade and investment barriers to fall. Economists indicate that an expanded relationship would bring economic benefits to both sides in the form of wider choices of goods and services and greater investment opportunities. But increasing economic interdependence brings challenges as well as benefits. As the U.S. and EU economies continue to integrate, some sectors or firms will 'lose out' to increased competition and will resist the forces of change. Greater economic integration also challenges long-held notions of 'sovereignty,' as national or regional policies have extraterritorial impact. Similarly, accepted understanding of 'competition,' 'markets,' and other economic concepts are tested as national borders dissolve with closer integration of economies. U.S. and EU policymakers are likely to face the task of how to manage the increasingly complex bilateral economic relationship in ways that maximize benefits and keep frictions to a minimum. For Members of Congress it could mean weighing the benefits of greater economic integration against the costs to constituents in the context of overall U.S. national interests. This report will be updated as events warrant."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL30608
Public Domain
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