France is one of the world’s most advanced economies and is a leader among European nations. Guillaume Lacroix, the consul general of France to the Midwest, offers insight into this important export market.
Q: Give us an overview of the trade relationship between France and the U.S.
A: While the trade and investment relationship between France and the U.S. is strong, it generally lacks controversy and therefore gets little attention. Trade flows are on an upward trend. Trade in goods and services between the two countries reached $139 billion in 2017, up 16 percent from 2016. The bilateral trade is close to equilibrium and is diversified on both sides.
Q: What is the export relationship between Wisconsin and France?
A: From January to November 2018, Wisconsin firms exported $448.1 million worth of products to France and imported $495.2 million worth of goods from France. Medical and scientific instruments is the largest category of Wisconsin exports (32 percent), followed by pharmaceutical products (22 percent). Medical and scientific instruments is also the largest category of Wisconsin imports from France (28 percent), followed by industrial machinery.
Q: How are French attitudes toward the U.S. market?
A: When France exports or starts businesses abroad, it does so first and foremost in the U.S. The U.S. is now, more than ever, the first destination for French investment and international business development. Conversely, when France hosts foreign investment and entrepreneurs, our leading source globally is the United States of America.
Q: What is the role of the French Consulate General in this relationship?
A: The job of the French Consulate General is to help bring more connections, both between the business communities and between the academic and research communities in both locations, all toward further strengthening the partnership between France and the Midwest.