Trade expert says European Union matters

Professor John McCormick
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Professor John McCormick
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An author and trade expert said, “When the European Union coughs, the U.S. catches cold,” while describing the strong connection between the United States and European Union, during remarks at the 29th World Trade Week Business Conference May 8. The event was co-hosted by Grand Valley State University’s Van Andel Global Trade Center as part of World Trade Week.

The remarks were made by keynote speaker John McCormick, author of “Why Europe Matters,” and Jean Monnet Professor of European Union Politics at the Indianapolis campus of Indiana University. The theme of the conference, held at the L. William Seidman Center, was “European Markets on the Rise.”

McCormick said the European Union is significant for the United States. “It is the most important international, political, economic and monetary relationship in the world by size, by reach and by political significance,” he said.

McCormick said the United States and the European Union together have the biggest share of world trade at one-third, and account for 75 percent of global spending and half of the global gross domestic product (GDP). He said the European Union has several problems to address including out-of-control debt, a large trade deficit, an under-performing education system, a large gap between the rich and poor and an addiction to fossil fuels.

The conference also included breakout sessions on topics like new exporters, advanced global businesses and emerging market trends. Experts shared information on strategies, opportunities and resources available to help businesses increase international sales.