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Ireland punches above its weight on exports to US

IRELAND exported goods and services worth €10.9bn to the US in the first half of this year, the fifth highest by any European Union (EU) country.

Ireland also benefits from the second largest trade surplus with the US of any European nation.

This country sold €7bn more into the US than companies here bought from trade partners in the US in the first six months of the year. Only the German economy has a bigger trade surplus.

Irish exports to the US were up €1.5bn in the first half compared to the same period in 2010, while imports dropped by over €100m.

The US is Europe's most important trading partner, overall and in terms of both goods and services.

US dominance is in decline thanks to the growing importance of new markets in Brazil, Russia, India and China, known as the BRIC nations. In 2000 trade with the US accounted for 28pc of EU exports. Today it stands at 18pc, but 18pc of a bigger total.

Trade between Europe and the US is dominated by manufactured goods, which accounts for more than 80pc of trade in both directions.

However, there has been a steady decline in the share of the US in total EU trade in goods over the last decade.


Germany's €35bn in export sales to the US is by far the biggest of any EU country, followed by the UK, Italy and France. But Ireland's fifth ranking is ahead of much bigger economies like Sweden, the Netherlands or Poland.

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Ireland outperforms other small countries in terms of US trade thanks to the large presence of US firms in the country. Goods and services produced here are in many cases sold back to US parent companies.

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