The European American Chamber of Commerce (EACC) conducted a survey between September 13 and 17, 2021, to better understand how the EU/US travel ban in place since Spring 2020 has impacted companies engaged in transatlantic business. The survey was conducted by EACC’s local chapters on both sides of the Atlantic.
132 responses were received with 38.6 % characterized as professional services firms, 21.2% as manufacturers, 9.1 % as financial services and the rest as Transportation/Logistics, Education, Travel/Hospitality and Other.
Nearly 90% of respondents said the restrictions impacted their company/organization/operations, with 74% answering that the impact had been ‘significant’ or ‘noticeable’. This underscores the importance of the impact of this prolonged travel ban on businesses on both sides of the Atlantic.
To the question “On which side of the Atlantic have the travel restrictions most impacted your operations?”, over 40% responded “U.S. Operations” with a further 36.4 % answering “both U.S. and European Operations.” Only 9.1% said the impact was being felt primarily on the European side.
As regards human resources and talent management, 41.7% did not feel any impact but almost 40% were forced to postpone expansion plans.
As regards assessing costs, 15.2% have not lost business or customers as a result of the travel bans; 24% said there had been at least negligible impact and 42.4% said the impact had been ‘noticeable’ or ‘significant.’
The responses below illustrate some of the issues faced by companies engaged in transatlantic business:
- We had to postpone the company expansion [including major capital outlays]
- Recruiting/hiring has been slower due to executive travel limitations.
- The employees in our…office have not been able to visit their loved ones back home (which impacts their well-being and…thus also our business)
- I am not able to manage the team in the USA as well as I normally would. I can’t grow the business because new business is very difficult managed from a distance and without personal contact. It is hard to hire new people and work with them.
- It’s harder to create some type of relationship with our customers
- We finance certain investments and expansions of European companies into the US. These companies are now more reluctant to invest in the US, because it is difficult for the European management to visit these investments.
- Complete shutdown of influx from Europe of investors and new Companies opening US subsidiaries.
EACC warmly welcomes reports of September 20, that the U.S. Administration will be taking steps to ease restrictions on travelers from Europe beginning in November. Whereas the reopening of the borders is excellent news, it remains to be seen what the long-term effects of the border closures will have on transatlantic business and Foreign Direct Investments.
EACC Network Survey September 21th, 2021 – Results compiled by EACC Cincinnati