Anti-US Sentiments – A concern for business?
conomically and politically the EU and the US enjoy a close beneficial relationship, maintaining prosperity within their regions as well as globally. Since the end of World War II, both powers have dominated global trade: together, the EU and the USA have the largest bilateral trade and investment relationship in the world, roughly 31% of world trade and over 49% of world GDP. Geopolitically the EU and the US remain close partners; not only cooperating in international organisations such as NATO or the OECD but working hand in hand in the fight against terror and in conflict areas in the Middle East and Africa. Also in the Ukraine-Russia crisis, in the EU’s neighbourhood, the EU relies heavily on the support of the US.
After many years in which US businesses focused on emerging economies for investment opportunities, they are again looking to Europe. A politically stable environment and low costs of investable assets due to many years of low growth, make Europe again an attractive investment destination. Even still, they have regularly differed with each other and have often had quite diverse political, economic, and social agendas. Understanding this complex relationship today is thus crucial for maintaining and enhancing business opportunities in the long term.
However, in recent years a general anti-American sentiment seems to have entered the public debate and mainstream politics in the EU. This could impact the attitude towards US businesses in Europe and also influence decisions that are critical for investing in Europe. In this snapshot we examine why the US is viewed more critically in the EU, taking a closer look at France, Germany and the UK, also considering what impact this might have on businesses and what these can do to address negative perceptions of US business.