As the world's largest market (in terms of consumer spending) and largest economy, the US is a key economic partner for Switzerland. After Germany, the USA is our second most important goods trading partner worldwide. In addition, Switzerland is the seventh most important foreign investor in the USA, particularly in the areas of research and development.
The importance of the USA for Switzerland has increased continuously in recent years. This includes regulatory standard setting, having effects on bilateral economic relations. Moreover, the US is Switzerland's most important trading partner with which Switzerland does not have a free trade agreement in place.
The US market is therefore of great interest to Swiss companies. The US is and remains the defining power in the multilateral economic system and plays a leading role in shaping international rules in the economic and trade spheres. For this reason, Switzerland seeks and maintains active cooperation with this partner, particularly within the framework of the relevant international forums (such as the WTO or the OECD).
Despite many shared values and interests that link the European continent with the US, some legal traditions and, consequently, regulatory approaches differ considerably. In this context, for example, the protection of personal data is a sensitive issue for both Switzerland and the EU. In addition, it can be observed that the US is increasingly and systematically combining foreign and security policy issues in shaping its foreign policy.
Taking these challenges into account, Switzerland is constantly examining how the successful economic and trade relations with the US can be expanded and deepened. This includes, for example, expanding cooperation in the (vocational) education sector, in innovative technology-intensive sectors (e.g. cleantech) or on the digital economy.
Last modification 14.12.2021