“Who loves ya, baby?” - The truth about US, UK and EU goods trade

In 2018 the EU27 earned almost $175 BILLION dollars net from the US in goods trade


Above: Telly Savalas as 'Kojak' - for illustrative purposes only, no endorsement implied.

Yet the UK is the biggest buyer of US goods in the EU, and the US even made a profit

Brexit Facts4EU.Org has been researching the truth about the trade between the US and the EU, and the US trade with the EU when the UK will no longer be part of it.

The results might surprise readers. We think this information will also surprise many citizens of the US.

We researched official data from the US Census Bureau for 2018, as this is official information and it will appeal to our US readers.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

US goods trade with the UK versus with the EU27

  • There are 28 countries in the EU
  • Almost 21% of all US goods exported to the EU were bought by the UK
  • The EU market will be over 1/5th smaller when the UK leaves
  • The EU27 countries (minus UK) had a $174.2 BILLION trade surplus in goods with USA last year
  • The UK is the biggest customer for US goods - and the US even made a small profit on the trade
  • The same cannot be said for the trade the US does with the EU27 (EU minus the UK)

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org - click to enlarge

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org - click to enlarge

“Who loves ya, baby?”

One country out of the 28 countries in the EU – the United Kingdom – bought over 1/5th of all American products sold to the EU last year. One country out of 28. And that country is almost 21% of the market for US producers.

Another way of looking at this is to say that for the USA, the EU market will be 79% of its current size once the UK leaves.

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org - click to enlarge

The UK buys American and the US buys British

The other key aspect for the US is the trade balance. For many years the EU has sold far more to the US than vice versa. Last year the EU27 countries rejoiced in a trade surplus with the US of almost $175 BILLION dollars. That’s $175 billion dollars in just one year, and that has been typical.

Conversely, the US had a small positive trade balance in goods with the UK of $5.5 billion dollars. In other words, the UK and the US broadly trade with each other on an even basis when it comes to goods.

Yet the US trade deficit with the EU27 will be huge when the UK leaves the EU.

And what about defence (or “security” as the EU refers to it)?

On defence, the UK is the only EU country to meet both NATO minimum spending targets – the percentage of GDP to be spent on defence and the capital equipment budget. Five EU countries are not even members of NATO and contribute nothing at all. The EU's largest country - Germany - is still only contributing two-thirds of what it should be doing.


Not only are the EU27 earning huge sums from the trade with the USA, these EU countries are also failing to pay for their own defence, relying on the USA and to a lesser degree the UK to protect them.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that when it comes to defence the EU has been sucking from the US teat for decades. We have published detailed research on this many times over the past few years.

On the other hand, the US-UK trade in goods is healthy and broadly in balance. The UK is also paying its way in NATO, even though we would like to see even more investment.

Brexit will bring even more opportunities for a stronger trade relationship with the USA, as well as with Commonwealth partners across the globe.

Finally, we hope we can persuade more readers to support us with a donation at this crucial time for Brexit. Easy and secure donation methods are below and we individually acknowledge every donation we receive. Thank you. If any US readers would like to donate, the donation system accepts cards from any country.

[ Sources: US Census Bureau | NATO ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Sat 10 August 2019

Click here to go to our news headlines

And please scroll down to COMMENT on the above article.

Share this article on

Something to say about this? Scroll down for reader comments

Supported by MPs, MEPs, & other groups, our work has impact.

It presents a simple, positive, and factual case for a true Brexit NOW.

Please donate today, so that we can really extend the reach of our work for a clean Brexit.

Any credit card user

Quick One-off


From £5 - £1,000



From £3 per month

Paypal Users Only - Choose amount first

Quick One-off