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U.S. Trade - Statistics & Facts

As a massive consumer and a prodigious producer of merchandise, it comes as no surprise that the United States is a major player in international trade. In 2020, the United States ranked as the third largest global merchandise exporter, with a value of about 1.43 trillion U.S. dollars, which accounted for 8.1 percent of the world's total export trade. The United States also ranked as the leading merchandise importing nation in the world that year as well, with a value that amounted to about 2.4 trillion U.S. dollars, or 13.5 percent of total import trade worldwide.

Trade balance of the U.S.

The overall value of both imports and exports to and from the United States has seen a somewhat steady increase between 2000 and 2020. One consistent trend in that time period is that there is a trade deficit of goods and a trade surplus of services from the United States. In other words, the United States exports fewer goods than it imports, and exports more services than it imports. The U.S. trade deficit was most prominent between 2005 and 2008 when it hovered between about 700 and 750 billion U.S. dollars per year, and amounted to about over 680 billion U.S. dollars as of 2020. Although many manufactured products are imported to the United States, the United States exports a greater value of agricultural products than it imports.

Main trading partners

In 2020, the United States imported about 435 billion dollars of goods from China, making China the biggest importer to the United States. Canada takes first place as the leading export partner to the United States, importing nearly 255 billion U.S. dollars of American goods in that year. California is home to the largest domestic economy in the United States, producing a significant share of the country’s crops as well as intellectual property. As a result, California is one of the top importers and exporters of international goods in the United States. In August of 2021, California's import value of goods was about 41 billion U.S. dollars.


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