Home » Strong friendship, stronger trade. Ambassador Zappia on Italy-US relations

Strong friendship, stronger trade. Ambassador Zappia on Italy-US relations

Mariangela Zappia
Speaking at the American Chamber of Commerce gala dinner in Milan, the Ambassador remarked on Rome’s firm Transatlantic anchoring and “strong and strategic friendship” with Washington. Bilateral trade is on the rise, consolidating the already-solid economic ties

Ambassador Zappia on Italy-US relations. “In the current geopolitical scenario, the need to strengthen international relations between ‘trusted friends’ has become even more urgent,” said Italy’s Ambassador to the United States, Mariangela Zappia, in her welcoming remarks at the 16th Transatlantic Award Gala Dinner organised by the American Chamber of Commerce in Italy (AmCham) in Milan.

  • “The US and Europe have come closer together,” she added, noting the importance of tools such as the Trade and Technology Council – which was also underway on Monday night at the University of Maryland – to seize existing opportunities and enhance the centrality of Italy, which is “firmly anchored in Transatlantic solidarity and strong and strategic friendship with the US.”

Italy in the US, continued the Ambassador, is a leader in traditional sectors as well as innovative emerging technologies, “where we boast unparalleled expertise, extending from mechanics, biotechnology, aerospace, energy and the defence industry.”

  • Reiterating the Embassy’s commitment to further strengthening the economic partnership between Rome and Washington, Ambassador Zappia mentioned some projects it recently promoted along with the Italian Foreign Minister, including the creation of the first “Italian Innovation and Culture Hub” in San Francisco and the launch of the Transatlantic Investment Committee (TIC), as well as the strengthening of the network of Italian scientific attachés in the US.

The Italy-US economic ties, in figures. Washington remains Rome’s leading trading partner outside Europe and third overall, with an annual reciprocal interchange of goods and services now standing at around $100 billion – with a significant surplus favouring Italy.

  • In 2021, as international trade recovered from the pandemic, the US-Italy interchange of goods grew by 19.4%. In the first nine months of 2022, the interchange of goods grew by 16.9% over the same period in 2021, reaching $71.4 billion, according to the US Department of Commerce.
    • Italy’s exports to the US – amounting to $50.5 billion – grew by 12.7% compared to the same period in 2021, confirming Rome’s place as Washington’s eleventh biggest supplier. Exports of goods from the US to the Italian market also increased (+28.8%).

Bilateral investments are also relevant, with foreign direct investment stocks standing at around $30 billion (both ways). About 3,000 Italian State-participated companies operate in the US; about 1,200 are subsidiaries, generating more than 200,000 jobs. Meanwhile, over 1,000 US-invested companies operate in Italy, helping to maintain 250,000 jobs.

  • Italian investments in the US are mostly focused on retail (textiles/clothing), instrumental mechanics, agribusiness, automotive, energy, logistics, infrastructure, defence and aerospace.
  • US investments in Italy revolve mainly around the manufacturing industry sectors, particularly chemicals, mechanics, computers and electronics, and services, particularly those in banking, finance and insurance, as well as IT and telecommunications.

Roll call. The AmCham award ceremony was hosted by the President of AmCham Italy, Luca Arnaboldi, and attended by the Chargé d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Italy, Shawn Crowley, as well as the Deputy Minister of Business, Valentino Valentini.

  • A host of Italian and American companies – including Meta, EssilorLuxottica, Nice, Equinix, Aon, Sixth Street, Penske Automotive Italy, Milano Investment Partners, Baker Hughes, Algorand and Istituto Marangoni Miami – were recipients of AmCham’s important awards.
  • Participants included Professor Giulio Tremonti, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Deputies; Matteo Perego di Cremnago, Undersecretary of Defense; Robert Needham, US Consul-General in Milan; Robert Allegrini, President of the National Italian American Foundation; and Roberto Sgalla, Director of the Center for American Studies.

Image: Twitter, @GigiDecollanz

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