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15 Fascinating Facts about US-France Economic Relations
Free Enterprise Staff | July 13, 2015

Tomorrow, July 14th, marks an important day for France: Bastille Day, which every year commemorates the onset of the French Revolution. Given the holiday’s importance, we thought it would be appropriate here at French—er, Free—Enterprise to spotlight the crucial economic relationship that exists France and the U.S.

So without further adieu—sorry, we mean ado—here are 15 fascinating facts about U.S.-France economic relations.

1. The U.S. and France established diplomatic relations 237 years ago in 1778, with France providing critical support during the Revolutionary War, according to the State Department.

2. Ranking behind only Germany, France is the second-largest trading nation in Western Europe.

3. According to the French Embassy, the U.S. ranks ahead of Belgium as the number one destination of French Foreign Direct Investment (F.D.I.) in the world.

4. In 2012, French F.D.I. stock hit 162 billion euros, or $222 billion, according to government data.

5. France is the U.S.’s third-largest trading partner in the European Union, trailing only Germany and the United Kingdom.

6. France is home to 30 of the world’s 500 largest businesses.

7. More than 2,700 French companies have subsidiaries in the U.S. All together, these outposts employ some 500,000 people.

8. The average wage for such jobs is just under $80,000—significantly higher than the average for all U.S. jobs.

9. The U.S. is the fourth-largest investor in France, according to the French Embassy. In total, France accounts for 12% of total U.S. foreign direct investment.

10. The U.S. ranked as France’s largest job-creating foreign investor in 2012, with 1,240 affiliates generating roughly 440,000 jobs.

11. The U.S. relies on France for all sorts of goods and services, consistently importing more than it exports to the country, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

12. The U.S. is France’s largest customer for goods outside of the European Union, according to the White House.

13. In 2013, France ranked as the U.S.’ eighth-largest goods trading partner: The U.S. exported $32 billion in goods to France and received $45 billion in French imports.

14. Roughly one-quarter of the bilateral goods trade between the two countries is in the aerospace sector.

15. The U.S. and France have established a bilateral convention on a tax treaty that addresses topics such as double taxation of goods and of companies.