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International trade is one of the hot industries of the new millennium. Trade exists because one group or country has a supply of a commodity or some merchandise that is in demand by another. As the world becomes more and more technologically advanced, and as we shift in subtle and not so subtle ways toward one-world modes of thought, international trade becomes more and more rewarding both in terms of profit and personal satisfaction.
France and the U.S. are long-standing, close allies. Despite occasional differences of views, as evidenced in early 2003 over Iraq, the U.S. and France work together on a broad range of trade, security and geopolitical issues.
France is the world’s sixth largest economy. With an annual GDP (USD 2.0 trillion in 2005) about one-fifth that of the United States, France was ninth largest trading partner for U.S., accounting for USD 46.7 billion of U.S. exports of goods, services and income receipts in 2004, as reported in U.S. Department of Commerce data. France is a member of the G-8, the European Union, the World Trade Organization and the OECD, confirming its status as a leading economic player in the world.
U.S. exports of goods to France in 2005 totaled USD 22.4 billion, up 5.36 percent from 2004 and accounted for 2.48 percent of overall U.S. exports in 2005.
U.S. imports of goods from France in 2005 totaled USD 33.8 billion, up 7.09 percent from 2004 and accounted for 2.03 percent of overall U.S. imports in 2005.
The importation of foodstuffs (produits alimentaires) is fastidiously regulated by a number of government institutions, most prominent of which is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Meat falls under the domain of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and products such as alcohol and tobacco are controlled by the Alcohol and Tobacco, Tax and Trade Bureau. For the entrepreneur who is interested in exporting to the United States, he or she must be fully aware of the rules of importation lest the products be seized by the US government.
The Mission Economique has published a variety of documents explaining the precise regulations imposed by government institutions:
The information on this site is not intended to constitute legal advice or to substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney licensed in your state. This web site is not intended to be advertising under applicable laws and ethical rules. These materials have been prepared by the French American Chamber of Commerce with the expertise of our staff and members for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. Anyone viewing the information should not act upon it without seeking professional counsel. The information contained in this website is provided only as general information which may or may not reflect the most current legal developments.