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EU businesses look to US market with incoming Biden administration

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EU businesses look to US market with incoming Biden administration
Copyright  Robert F. Bukaty/Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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European companies are eagerly awaiting the incoming Biden administration in the hope of new opportunities opening up.

Some companies are already adapting their business models to increase exports to the US market, including one Belgian-Italian tailor, Lanieri Bruxelles.

Claudio Verdarelli, one of its salesmen, explained to Euronews how the company is now selling tailor-made suits online, with the fittings done via video call.

He says that the business has seen an increase in sales during the pandemic, particularly in the US.

"Even if we don’t have a regular shop in the US, we are approaching a lot of YouTubers that show you how easy and fun it is taking measurements at home and they receive the same suit at home in one month," Verdarelli said.

But he added: "Our model is very important because worldwide we have no limits of nations. We can reach out to the global market. Even if we are based in Europe and we are born in Italy, our fourth market is in the ``USA."

Despite the current economic crisis and recent tariffs on European goods by the Trump administration, generally speaking, EU exports to America have increased over the past ten years.

According to Eurostat, EU exports to the US were worth €384bn in 2019, whilst imports from the US were valued at €232bn, leaving a surplus of €153bn.

And European exports to the US actually increased in some sectors over the past two years, according to Lucio Miranda, Director of ExportUSA, an association of SMEs.

"In the last 18 months, exports for pharmaceuticals went very well... but aluminium, steel, the automotive industry, well, that's undeniable that there was a backlash from the increase of duties that were imposed by the Trump administration," Miranda explained.

Industrial machinery is among some of the most exported European products and it's a market that could grow even more, given Joe Biden's plan to invest in American infrastructure.

"The numbers that have been discussed [of spending by Biden] range between $2tn $5tn in a span of four to ten years. Now, such a massive programme of investment cannot be faced by American companies alone,” the ExportUSA Director said.

Whether it’s fashion or heavy machinery though, the prospects for European exports seem positive.

But for the moment, companies like Lanieri will have to adapt their services to fit a pandemic hit world.