These days a lot of U.S. companies are complaining that they can't compete with global trade in countries such as India where there is a low-cost labor force and environmental or other regulatory controls are more lax.
However, Europeans have higher labor costs, tighter environmental regulations and higher taxes than the U.S. Yet they successfully engage in trade all over the world. The biggest difference between Europe and the U.S. is that Europeans always had to export because their internal markets have always been too small for long-term growth. The advantage the Europeans have is they have far more exposure and interest in developing a deep appreciation for the culture and history of other countries. And this has helped them in business.