The transatlantic economy is the world’s largest market and supports 15 million jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. Bilaterally, the economic ties between the U.S. and Sweden have never been stronger -- Swedish companies create jobs in all 50 U.S. states, and all 50 states export goods and services to Sweden. And just last week, Volvo opened its first U.S. plant in South Carolina.
Against this backdrop, the threat of a trade war is growing as the U.S. and EU exchange tit-for-tat tariffs. We disagree with these decisions to impose tariffs, which amount to administrative and financial burdens. We urge both sides to take a balanced approach in responding to these measures. We are very concerned about the damage that this dispute is causing to the transatlantic economy and its impact on jobs, investment, and security across the Atlantic.
What is more, these moves put the global trading system at risk. The EU and the U.S. should cooperate to solve the core issue of global overcapacity. In addition, they should collaborate to address third countries’ unfair trading practices and to reform the World Trade Organization.
In this context, it is vital to address the sentiment underlying the current hostility to trade, and to share the story of trade in a way that recognizes the plight of people who lose work because of trade agreements, while advancing free and fair trade agreements that promote growth, peace, and security. After all, people are more than averages compiled in an economic report, and GDP growth means nothing to a family that is struggling with job loss.
So we need to do a better job of telling the story of trade -- an abstract term that people tend to tune out when they hear. Ultimately, trade means livelihood. Meaningful work. Jobs.
Free and fair trade fosters global supply chains that bring together parts, technology, and know-how from all over the world -- contributing to the products and services we use everyday from smartphones to cars to life saving drugs and technology. Indeed, if not for free trade, the smartphone in your pocket might cost $3,000. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCSl4Sp3TmI&feature=youtu.be)
In Almedalen next week, (https://www.amcham.se/calendar/2018/5/25/almedalen-2018) we will discuss the continued importance of investing in the U.S., as well as the challenges and opportunities related to establishing or expanding a business in the United States -- and why the time is now to do so. What is more, we will be examining issues such as:
Cyber security and AI
Resilient transatlantic cyber defense
How to better use Swedish health data
Finally, AmCham is the people who co-create and animate our business community, so take advantage of the many ways you and your colleagues can engage. Right now, the 2018 Mentoring Program (https://www.amcham.se/mentoring-program/) is accepting applications. It is a truly unique platform to learn new skills and context, while developing meaningful connections with people outside of your field. We also have an engaging series of videos, Meet The People Of AmCham Sweden. Check it out here -- and let us know if you would like to participate.
Hope to see you in Almedalen. And beyond.