The Transatlantic Trade and Investor Partnership (TTIP)

This month, President Obama and European Commission President Barroso and European Council President Van Rompuy announced the embarkation by the US and the EU on an ambitious project, dubbed “the biggest trade pact of all time”. This pact, known as The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), aims at removing trade barriers between the two blocs in a number of sectors, thereby making it easier to buy and sell goods and services between the EU and the US. Continue reading

United States Ambassador Ms Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley addresses Maltese businesses

PRESS RELEASE

United States Ambassador Ms Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley addresses Maltese businesses

In her first economic policy address since being appointed US Ambassador to Malta, Her Excellency Ms Gina Abercrombie- Winstanley, addressed a numerous gathering of Maltese business people at an event jointly organised by the American Chamber of Commerce in Malta and the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Enterprise.The theme of the networking event was “Malta: A geo-strategic partner for US companies to trade in North Africa?’

US Amb GA

Abercrombie-Winstanley began her speech by emphasising the already fruitful commercial relationship between both countries, as evidenced by the fact that the United States is Malta’s largest trading partner outside the EU and that, including hotels and franchises, 1 out of every 30 jobs in Malta is linked to US business. She suggested that a fruitful area to explore is the possibility of joint arrangements between U.S. and Maltese firms on projects in Libya, including rebuilding Libya’s infrastructure and the oil industry. “As you know,” the Ambassador stated, “and as we will be explaining to U.S. businesses, Malta provides a stable base for projects and investments in Libya. Malta’s proximity, logistics capability, supply services, aviation and maritime maintenance facilities, and your long relationships with all levels of Libyan business and society should make Malta a very attractive proposition to U.S. entrepreneurs wishing to do business in Libya.”

Ambassador Abercrombie-Winstanley outlined various ways how the U.S. Embassy intends facilitating mutually-beneficial alliances between American and Maltese businesses, through, amongst others, the US Commerce Department – particularly its “Export.gov” page, the U.S. Embassies in Libya, Tunisia and elsewhere, the U.S.-North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity, a private- public partnership led by the U.S. State Department, and by working closely with the Government of Malta and the U.S. Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs Lorraine Hariton, who recently visited Malta. However, ultimately, the Ambassador stressed, it is the Maltese entrepreneur’s responsibility to convince their American counterparts about the business opportunities available in the region.

Mr John Huber, on behalf of the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Enterprise, delivered an introductory speech. Mr Huber welcomed the Ambassador to the Chamber’s prestigious headquarters in Valletta and described the Chambers’ functions with particular emphasis on the role of the Internationalisation Unit which assists Maltese companies establish working relationships overseas.

Mr Pierre Attard, President of AmCham Malta, made his concluding remarks highlighting the fact that developments in North Africa are now offering Maltese companies a platform to become ever more relevant amongst their business counterparts in the United States and invited Maltese businesses to seize such a unique opportunity. Malta’s geo-strategic location in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea is the only permanent certainty that exists in the region’s ever-changing social, economic and political realities. Such permanence should be positively capitalised upon to the advantage of Maltese entrepreneurs and the Maltese economy. Mr. Attard expressed AmCham Malta’s willingness to be participative in the US Embassy’s efforts to establish a structured dialogue amongst all interested stakeholders.

AmCham Board meets Richard M. Mills, Charges D’Affairs US Embassy Malta

23rd June 2011

left to right: Denis Gatt, Pete Mattsom, James Satariano, Simon Barberi, Richard Mills, Pierre Attard, Thomas Yeager, Anton Tabone, Joseph Cushcieri

left to right: Denis Gatt, Pete Mattsom, James Satariano, Simon Barberi, Richard Mills, Pierre Attard, Thomas Yeager, Anton Tabone, Joseph Cushcieri

AmCham Board meets Richard M. Mills, Charges D’Affairs US Embassy Malta

The Board of AmCham Malta, had a very cordial and productive meeting with Mr. Richard W. Mills Jr., Charges D’Affairs at the Ambassador’s Residence in Attard, Malta.  The two sides exchanged ideas and prospective joint initiative that could be undertaken to increase US – Malta economic ventures. Mr. Thomas Yeager Chief Political, Economic and Commercial Unit was also in attendance.

Transatlantic economy

Thursday, 3rd July 2008 – 00:00CET

Transatlantic economy

Anton Tabone

It is estimated that transatlantic economy between the US and Europe generates $4 trillion in total commercial sales a year and employs up to 14 million workers on both sides of the Atlantic.

These workers enjoy high wages as well as high labour and environmental standards. Over the last five years the transatlantic economy has enjoyed one of its strongest periods of growth and prosperity in decades.

This comes out in an American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union report. The chamber commissions the Centre for Transatlantic Relations Johns Hopkins University and Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies to conduct surveys on jobs, trade and investment.

 remains the top destination of US foreign direct investments (FDI), with the region accounting to nearly 59 per cent of total US investment outflows in 2006. For instance, US assets in the UK are the largest in the world, totalling $2.3 trillion in 2005, nearly one-quarter of the global total, and an amount greater than total combined US assets in Asia, South America, Africa and the Middle East.

During the same year US assets in The Netherlands were the second largest with $868 billion invested. The US asset base in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic was $50 billion or twice the size of corporate America’s assets in India. US FDI in Ireland in 2006 hit a new record of $13.3 billion, nearly double the amount of US investment in all of South America.

Europe’s investment stakes in the US totalled a record $1.3 trillion in 2006, a 12.6 per cent rise from 2005 and more than triple the level of a decade ago. The US remains the

primary destination of EU investment in terms of FDI flows. No other region of the world has invested as much in the US than Europe, with the latter accounting for roughly 75 per cent of total inward investment in 2006.

Switzerland ranked first as the largest holder of US assets in 2005 ($1.3 trillion), followed closely behind by the UK firms ($1.1 trillion). Of particular interest is the spread between European investment in the US on the one hand versus EU investment in China and India on the other.

In a nutshell there is no comparison – in 2005, EU investment in the US totalled €29 billion versus investment in China of €6 billion and investment in India of just €2 billion. Europe invests considerably more in California than it does in China. Texas, California and New York maintained their rank as the top three destinations of European foreign investment.

Transatlantic trade flows

While America’s trade deficit with Europe peaked in 2005 at $132.65 billion, it narrowed by 5.2 per cent in 2006 to nearly $126 billion. US exports of goods and services to Europe rose 16.2 per cent in the first half of last year from the same period the previous year, well ahead of US imports from Europe, up 5.7 per cent in the same period. Against this backdrop, the US trade deficit with Europe narrowed by nearly 27 per cent in the first half of last year, and was running at an annual rate of $100 billion.

Transatlantic portfolio flows

Last year, US capital outflows to the EU soared to $62 billion – a figure roughly five times than US inflows from Europe over the same period in 2006. In this regard, it is interesting to note that despite the high-flying stock markets of India, China and Brazil in 2007, US investors have shown a stronger preference for European equities. For instance, net US purchases of Spanish securities last year ($11.9 billion) were nearly 40 per cent larger than net US purchases of Brazilian securities. US investors sunk more than four times the amount of capital in French securities last year ($17 billion) than they invested in India ($3.8 billion).

Transatlantic jobs

Of the nine million people employed outside the US by majority-owned US companies in 2005, roughly 44 per cent were located in Europe. The bulk of these workers were based in the UK, Germany and France.

Despite stories about European companies moving to cheap labour markets in central Europe or Asia, most foreigners working for European companies outside the EU are American. European majority-owned foreign affiliates directly employed roughly 3.5 million US workers in 2005. The top five European employers in the US were firms from the UK (908,000), Germany (655,000), France (473,000), The Netherlands (442,000) and Switzerland (389,000).

Transatlantic growth: A rebalancing between Europe and America

Last year, the transatlantic economy underwent a rebalancing of sorts. Significantly, the

one-time transatlantic economic laggard, Europe, has pulled ahead of the perennial transatlantic growth leader – the US. The US economy has been battered and bruised by a housing recession and attendant sub-prime credit squeeze that has constrained economic activity. On average, the US economy expanded by roughly 2 per cent in the first half of last year, following 2.9 per cent annual growth in 2006. Prior to 2006, US economic growth easily outpaced that of Europe.

The global earnings of US corporations have taken an added importance this year on account of weaker-than-expected growth in the US.

Simply put, strong global earnings staved off a US profit recession last year.

Without the overseas boost o earnings last year – with Europe at the forefront – US earnings would have been far weaker than reported, adding even more uncertainty and volatility to the US financial markets.

Given the depth and breadth of US-European trade and investment linkages, both economies are so tightly linked that when things go awry in one market, the effects are felt in the other. More often than not, a problem in either the US or in European economies becomes a transatlantic problem.

The UK, France, Ireland and Spain were the markets of choice for US investors last year, with many investors actively adding more global securities to their portfolios as a hedge against a US market downturn and a weaker US dollar.

The transatlantic services economy continues to deepen

The services economies of the US and Europe have become even more intertwined over the past year, with cross-border trade in services and sales through affiliates posting strong gains in the past year. By sectors, transatlantic linkages continue to deepen in financial services, insurance, education, telecommunication, utilities, advertising and computer services.

Other services – such as aviation, are gradually being liberalised and deregulated, albeit slowly. Services represent the sleeping giant of the transatlantic economy, or the one key area where significant opportunities exist to strengthen and deepen the transatlantic economy.

No commercial artery in the world is as large as the one binding together the US and Europe. No two regions of the global economy are as economically fused as the two parties straddling the Atlantic, making the transatlantic economy the largest and wealthiest in the world.

It is foreign investment – the deepest form of global integration – that binds the transatlantic economy, not trade. Trade, which involved the cross-border movement of goods and services, is a shallow form of integration and often associated with early phases or stages of bilateral commerce.

In contrast, a relationship resting on the foundation of foreign investment is one where both parties are extensively embedded and entrenched in each other’s economies. The transatlantic economy epitomises the latter. American affiliates in Europe are

increasingly indistinguishable from local firms. The same is true for European affiliates in the US. Europeans and Americans literally own each other.

Malta posts positive trade balance with US

Tuesday, 10th June 2008

Malta posts positive trade balance with US

Ivan Camilleri, Brussels

Malta registered a positive trade balance with the US last year although both exports and imports shrunk drastically when compared to 2000 levels.

Trade statistics issued yesterday by Eurostat, the EU’s statistical arm, prior to today’s EU-US summit being held in Slovenia, showed that last year Malta registered a positive trade balance of €113 million. In fact, last year, Malta exported €241 million in goods and services to the US while importing €128 million.

The situation seven years before was very different. Eurostat said that in 2000 Malta’s exports to the US reached €727 million in value and imports were valued at €393 million, leaving a healthy trade balance of €334 million.

Malta’s trade with the US involves primarily products of ST Microelectronics.

Overall, trade between the EU and the US is growing at a healthy pace. Eurostat said that the most notable feature of EU-US trade in goods over recent years has been the growth in the EU27 surplus, from €32 billion in 2000 to €80 billion last year. This increase in the surplus is due both to an increase in the value of exports to the US (from €238 billion in 2000 to €261 billion in 2007), and to a decrease in the value imports from the US (from €206 billion to €181 billion).

EU trade with the US is dominated by manufactured goods. Last year, more than two-fifths of EU27 trade flows with the US were machinery and vehicles, while chemicals and other manufactured articles each accounted for more than a fifth of imports and exports.

Among the EU member states, Germany was the largest exporter to the US in 2007, with €73 billion in value, followed by the UK (€45 billion), France (€25 billion) and Italy (€24 billion).

The UK (€39 billion) and Germany (€35 billion) were also the largest importers, followed by the Netherlands (€26 billion) and France (€20 billion).