The economy of the United States of America is the largest in the world with a nominal GDP expected to exceed US$ 21 trillion by the end of 2019 according to Focus Economics. The country’s economy accounts for 20% of the global output and features a highly developed service sector. According to the Economic Complexity Index, the US has the 7th most complex economy in the world. In 2017, the country’s GDP was $19.4 trillion and GDP per capita was $595,000. During the same period, the total export amounted to $1.25 trillion while total imports amounted to $2.16 trillion, resulting in a negative trade balance. The top imports of the US are vehicle parts, computers, crude petroleum, and cars.
Top Import Partners Of The US
In 2017, the US imported commodities worth $2.16 trillion, making it the world’s largest importer. According to statistics, the imports of the US have increased at an annual rate of 0.4% in the last five years from $2.14 trillion in 2012 to $2.16 trillion in 2017. Cars are the largest imports, accounting for 8.28% of the total import followed by crude petroleum (6%) and broadcasting equipment (4.9%). Many countries count on the US to buy their commodities but China, Mexico, Canada, Japan, and Germany are its top export destination and import origin.
According to the United States Census Bureau, China is the largest trading partner of the US, with the total trade amounting to $636 billion in 2017 up from $577 billion the previous year, representing a 10% growth. According to the statistics, the US imports from China in 2017 was $505.6 billion compared to $462 billion in 2016. During the same period, export to China was worth $129.7 billion up from $115.5 billion in 2016, resulting in a negative trade balance of $375.4. The imports from China accounted for 21.6% of the total imports, signifying a 0.5% growth from 21.1% in 2016. The major imports from China included broadcasting equipment worth $67.4 billion, computers ($46.6 billion), and office machines ($26.9 billion). Other imports from China were integrated circuits, valves, industrial printers, and video displays. In 2016, President Trump (then-president-elect) threatened to impose tariffs of 45% on all goods from China. The move would have seen a significant drop in imports and an improved trade balance. However, China and the US continue to enjoy good trade relations.
Mexico, Canada, and the US form a trilateral trade bloc known as NAFTA, one of the largest trade blocs in the world by GDP. Mexico is one of the top five trading partners of the US. It is the second-largest market for US goods after Canada, accounting for 15.7% of the country’s total export. Mexico is also the second-largest source of products to the US after China. According to the US Census Bureau, products imported from the country were worth $314 billion in 2017, representing 13.4% of the total imports. The imports grew by about 6% from $293 billion in 2016. With a total export valued at $244 billion, the US had a negative trade balance of $70 billion with Mexico. Mexico is one of the US neighboring countries. Thus, it is easier and cheaper for commodities to cross into the US market. About 17% of the total value of vehicles imported by the US were from Mexico, making it the third-largest source of vehicles after Canada and Japan. Other major imports included mineral fuel, electrical machinery, and medical equipment.
Canada is one of the three members of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the largest market the US products, accounting for 18.3% of the total export. However, it is the third-largest source of products in the US market, accounting for 12.8% of the total imports in 2017. The value of goods from the country was worth $300 billion, up from $278 billion the previous year (2016), representing 8% growth. The US imports from Canada have always exceeded exports, resulting in a negative balance. In 2017, the trade balance was -$16 billion. Canada is the largest source of cars for the US market, accounting for 25% of the total car imports in 2017, valued at $43.9 billion. It is also the largest source of crude petroleum, accounting for 41% of the total import valued at $53.3 billion. Canada is the third-largest source of vehicle parts after Mexico and China.
Japan plays a major role in the economic development of the US as one of its trade partners. It is the fourth-largest import and export partner of the US, with goods traded between the two countries totaling $204 billion in 2017 up from $196 billion the previous year, representing a 4% growth. Goods imported from Japan totaled $136 billion, up from $132 in 2016. Imports from Japan accounted for 5.8% of the overall US imports in 2017. The growth was boosted by the launching the US-Japan Economic Dialogue in April 2017. The US trade deficit with Japan was approximately $68 billion. Japan was the second-largest source of vehicles, accounting for 23% of the total vehicle import. 12% of the vehicle parts import was from Japan. Other top imports included machinery, medical equipment, and aircraft.
Germany is the fifth-largest source of goods for the US and the largest European trade partners. In 2017, imports from Germany totaled $118 billion, representing 5% of the overall US import. Exports from the US to Germany totaled $53.3 billion, meaning that the trade between the two countries resulted in a deficit of $64 billion. The imports grew by about 1% from $114 billion in 2016. Automobiles are the largest import products to the US, accounting for 20% of all goods imported from Germany and valued at $21.7 billion. Packaged medicament and vehicle parts were the second and third largest imports, accounting for 9.3% and 4.9% of the total imports. Because Germany is one of the members of the EU, the US and Germany are members of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership which is designed to strengthen trade between the US and the EU.
The US International Trade
The US international trade comprises both export and import to and from the country. It is one of the three top exporters and importers. The country has trade relations with several countries with Asia and Europe being predominant. The US depends heavily on the import of raw material and the export of finished goods. In 2017, exports from the US totaled $1.5 trillion while imports totaled $2.3 trillion, leading to a negative trade balance of $0.8 trillion.
Top 5 Import Partners Of The United States
|Rank||Country||Share in total imports|
About the Author
Sharon is a Kenyan native with a wide range of interests. An accountant and financial analyst by profession, Sharon enjoys writing about world facts, the environment, society, politics, and more.
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