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US-Greece Trade Relations: A Friendship Marked By Important Agreements
The Start of a Remarkable Trade Relation

Greece is a country situated in Southern Europe particularly on the Balkan Peninsula. Under the Turkish rule of the land which lasted for centuries, little economic growth was seen in the country. Upon gaining its independence in 1830, Greece was then known as a backward and peasant country. Economic development started after world War II where the United States played an important role especially in the extension of foreign aid. Greece became an associate member of the European Community in 1962. In 1981, it was admitted as a full member but encountered some difficulties working for a system which is focused on the more economically advanced countries.

Agriculture, to these days, is considered to be the most important aspect in economic activity. Peasants cultivate holdings that are uneconomically small. They used old-fashioned and at some points primitive methods of farming. In remote areas, plows similar to those represented on classical Greek vases are still used. In 1950's, a so-called land-redistribution program made the holdings larger.

The primary agricultural products are wheat, fruits and industrial crops. Fruits were basically comprised of grapes, olives and citrus fruits. Industrial crops, on the other hand were cotton and tobacco. Greece was known to be self-sufficient in bread grains coupled by exports of tobacco and dried grapes such as raisins and sultanas.

Animal rearing is restricted due to a shortage of grass and fodder. Sheep and goats could subsist on the coarse grass of the hills, were considered to be the most numerous farm stock. Fishing, at one end is important around Greece's coast. Among the species caught are tunny and octopus, which are considered as delicacies of the country.

Manufacturing includes canning and drying of fruits. They also focus on winemaking and distilling as well as tobacco preparation. Most factory industries are found near two of Greece's largest cities which are Athens and Thessaloniki (formerly known as Salonika). Cement, fertilizers, simple chemical products and china and glass are made for the domestic market. A small aluminum industry exists and an oil refinery had also been built.

Greece's trade volume is very small. Despite this fact, it never failed to work for its subsistence. Trading partners were basically comprised of EC member nations but the US in effect contributed as well. Greece have shared common heritage and cultural ties with the United States and the expansion of their trade was even supported by the same democratic values and political strengths they believed in.

Major Exports and Imports Between the US and Greece

Since 1946, the end of World War II, the United States have already economically contributed an amount of $11.1 billion to Greece. The economic programs had to stop by the year 1962 but military assistance continued to flourish. Until now, exports and imports come and go from the territorial jurisdictions of these countries.

For the period ending August 2008, the US Census Bureau had reported a total amount of exports from the United States to Greece which is $1.24 billion. The US imports from Greece on the other hand, made up a total of $595 million. As per the records collated for 2007, the following commodities were found to be on top of the long list:

  • Greek Exports to the US. For the year 2007, Greek exports to the United States had a total of $1.19 billion. With this amount, $267.32 million or 22.46% were taken from sales of drilling and oil field equipment and platforms. Other remarkable goods on the list were: other petroleum products; vegetables and preparations; other products such as notions, writing and art supplies; stone, sand, cement and lime; bauxite and aluminum; dairy products and eggs; fruits and preparations including frozen juices; other products such as tobacco, waxes and nonfood oils; and US goods returned and reimports. The reimports totaled to $30.64 million 2.57% of 2007s total.
  • Greek Imports from the US. For the products coming from the US which are imported to Greece, 2007's total showed an amount of $2.11 billion. Complete military aircraft formed 22.69% of the said total which is equivalent to an amount of $478.83. Other goods found on top of the charts were: parts for military-type goods; passenger cars, new and used; telecommunications equipment; steelmaking materials; medicinal equipment; nuts; civilian aircraft; pleasure boats and motors; and miscellaneous domestic exports and special transactions. The special transactions comprised 2.25% of 2007's total which is equal to $47.53 million.
  • Fastest-Growing US Exports to Greece. The rankings on exports and imports were further supported by commendable products which have increased their sales marks. For US Exports to Greece the fastest-growing one went to complete military aircraft. This was recorded to have increased by 621,853% from 2006 for an amount of $478.83. Other noteworthy goods were: soybeans; civilian aircraft engines; copper; and other nonferrous metals. The last category gained an increase of 916.56% from 2006 or at a cost of $2.93 million.
  • Fastest-Growing US Imports from Greece. While exports to Greece from US showed great sales standings, imports of the latter from the former, had been remarkable as well. Topping the list of goods were fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides which had a hefty increase of 153,267% amounting to $4.6 million in total sales. Other products were: marine engines and parts; cookware, cutlery, house and garden wares, tools; drilling and oil field equipment and platforms; and medicinal, dental and pharmaceutical preparations. The preparations recorded sales of $2.17 million or 641% increase from 2006.
Trade Cooperation Between The Two Nations

Founded by their prospering trade, trade agreements were also signed between the United States and Greece. Their economic relations were further intensified by the pacts they have made, whether verbal or written. The verbal part was merely based on word of honor while the written ones were sufficient to cover-up for their foreign exchange. Examples of treaties they have worked on are:

  • US-Greece Renewable Energy Cooperation. This paved the way to a higher benefit for economic relations more than the political connectivity between the US and Greece. This cooperation was focused on working for joint renewable energy projects from the Hellenic Aid of the Greece to US's Agency for International Development. This as a combined effort to form a vision which is strategically advantageous for advanced energy development within the two regions.
  • Wildfire Assistance of US to Greece. This was basically done by US to help Greece recover from wildfires which had caused economic distress to the latter. As agriculture is Greece's main source of economic strength, the US extended a financial aid amounting to $700 thousand for the Hellenic Red Cross while $1.2 million was used as emergency funds for the purchase of protective gear for firefighters as well as technical assistance for the government.
Trade Conflicts Between the US and Greece

The merits on trade between the US and Greece was extremely high. Based on the records, financial and other assistance were readily extended by US to Greece. This had furthermore strengthened the ties between these two nations. Greece was a developing country and through time, it had been supported by the US in its quest for greater stature in international trade.

The only dispute which had hampered the trade relations between these two nations is Greece's opposition to US's war on terror against Iraq. Just like other members of the European Union, Greece believes that this type of war was not on the same level as those dictated by the global movement against terror. The conflict was further intensified by Greece's participation on the training of Iraqis in Bulgaria.

The Future Between US-Greece Trade Relations

Just a couple of days ago, Barrack Obama was declared new president for the United States. The question on its future with Greece and other nations may remain uncertain as to this point. There are still things which need to be observed before making a conclusion as to the entire future of international economy. By principle, however, no change of government may have hindered the trade relations of US to any of its comrades in the world. It is safe to say that whatever lies ahead will still be fruitful. As they have supported Greece through time, this will continue to flourish in the future. A significant relationship which have rooted from political views and other beliefs will truly be the foundation for better days, weeks, months and years ahead.

The only thing to be focused on right now is to extend more reforms that could help the Greeks improve their way of living. Modernization may be introduced with of course the agreement of its people. This will definitely make them stand the tests of time but of course with the help of other nations in world trade. Developing as they may seem, Greece has yet to prove itself. If need be, a good alliance with the EU and the United States will definitely transmit Greece's fate to higher grounds.

US-Greece Trade References

Note: Trade statistics, industry links, economic projections and global business resources on this page have been compiled from hundreds of trade related websites, government guides and resources on the Internet. We provide this valuable information for industrial suppliers, manufacturers, exporters and importers seeking to enter or expland business opportunities in Greece.

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Primary Trading Partners

Major Goods Exported

Major Goods Imported

Industrial Outlook

Greece's major industries includes food and tobacco processing, textiles; chemicals, metal products; mining, petroleum and tourism/shipping which still continues to drive much of the Greek economy.

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