Gema Boiza. Journalist. @GemaBoiza
Spain is among the European Union countries with the greatest agri-food exports to the US, although its numbers are still lag behind other countries, such as France, the UK, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands.
According to data from the US Department of Agriculture, the value of Spanish agri-food exports to the US totaled 1.5 billion dollars in 2012, accounting for 8.3% of total EU agri-food exports to the US, which amounted to 18 billion dollars.
This number is attributable, in particular, to sales of wine, olive oil and fresh Spanish products. Spain imports a similar amount of agri-food products from the US, mainly wheat, spirits and soybeans.
The US would like to expand that list. To that end, it has been working on a new agreement with the European Union since June. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) would eliminate many of the existing barriers to trade between the US and Europe.
However, some of Europe's main countries are opposed to the Partnership. Germany is one example. According to the US Department of Agriculture, and despite having increased agri-food sales to the US, Germany's agri-food sector has a trade deficit with the US, since it imports more than it exports.
Balance of trade
Germany has a trade balance with the UK, and almost with Spain. According to the same source, Spain and the Netherlands export and import exactly the same amount to and from the US.
Germany's main exports to the US are beer and forest products. The UK exports mainly fish products and snacks.
France, however, is in a different position: it exports primarily wine and cheese and, more specifically, products with Protected Geographical Indication status.
France exported 2.5 billion dollars worth of agri-food products in 2012, and imported mainly distilled beverages in an amount on par with the value of its cheese exports.
Italy is another country that exports more to the US than it imports from that country. Like France, it mainly exports cheese and wine, and also Italian olive oil, and exports to the US reached a record high in 2012.