Trade Relations With the USA: Exports and Investments of Austrian Companies on a Strong Upswing

PeopleEntrepreneurs ♦ Published: August 16, 2022; 14:09 ♦ (Vindobona)

Austrian companies are increasingly exporting to the USA. It is already their largest overseas market and mutual bilateral investments are steadily increasing. Read on to find out what influences the positive growth dynamics and why Austrian products are in such demand in the US.

Exports to the USA are becoming increasingly important for Austrian companies. / Picture: © American and Austrian crossed flags by Vindobona

Exports to the USA are becoming increasingly important for Austrian companies. The USA is already the world's most important overseas market for Austria and reciprocal bilateral investments are steadily increasing.

Recent problems in the economy in recent months, such as the sharp rise in inflation in Europe and the USA, have been able to detract from this strongly positive growth dynamic.

"Austrian companies have particularly advantageous trade relations with the USA. Austria not only has one of the world's highest trade surpluses with the USA, but the annual export growth rates, currently almost 25 % in the first half of 2022, are also promising," emphasises Peter Hasslacher, Economic Delegate of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKÖ) in New York.

One of the reasons for the enormous importance of the US market for Austrian companies is the stability in America. In retrospect, the USA weathered the Corona pandemic exceptionally well.

It emerged from the pandemic with low unemployment of 3.6%, above-average growth rates and astonishingly strong consumer behaviour among its citizens.

However, the United States has not been spared the highest inflation in decades - it is now just over 9%. In particular, rising commodity prices in the wake of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine as well as ongoing supply chain problems are driving prices. Nevertheless, restaurants remain full, with nominal retail sales up by a whopping 8.1% over the past 12 months as of May 2022.

"Economic relations between Austria and the US have been developing positively across the board for several years," Hasslacher emphasises. Despite the geographical distance, the USA is the third most important export market for Austria after Germany and Italy, with a total of 11.1 billion euros in goods exports in 2021.

In the first half of 2022, exports already climbed to around 8.6 billion euros. The USA also offers a promising alternative market to compensate for shortfalls in Eastern Europe.

One of the reasons for the enormous success of Austrian products in the USA is the special quality of domestic products. Consumers and companies in the USA appreciate the high-quality products from Austria, emphasises the WKÖ Economic Delegate in New York: "Austrian products stand out in the USA due to their above-average quality and durability. Machines and vehicles made in Austria are particularly popular, as are chemical products and foodstuffs."

Austrian investments in the USA are also on the upswing: Specifically, direct investments in existing properties and new investments by domestic companies in the United States rose from 11.9 to 13.9 billion euros in the last two years. "This makes Austria one of the foreign investors with the strongest growth momentum in the US," Hasslacher concluded. (SR)

The Foreign Trade and Investment Centre in New York aims to facilitate the entry of Austrian companies into the US market and to strengthen economic relations between the USA and Austria. The focus is particularly on the food, health and automotive industries as well as the innovation sector.

WKO Austrian Federal Chamber of Commerce