top 10 commodities
Top 10 Commodities Imported/Exported in the US: 2017 vs 2006

When it comes to exports just over a decade ago, transportation equipment led the way with over $218 billion worth of products and services. With the US not producing as many electronic goods in 2006, this sat in second with $169 billion with forestry products rounding off the top three with $133 billion. Interestingly, energy-related products had the largest trade deficit (exports – imports) after importing $280 billion more than was exported. Here are the Top 10 commodities imported and exported by the US in the year 2017 versus 2006.

Transportation Equipment – $218 billion

Electronic Equipment – $169 billion

Forestry Products – $133 billion

Machinery – $92 billion

Minerals and Metals – $82 billion

Agricultural Products – $76 billion

Energy-Related Products – $39 billion

Forestry Products – $30 billion

Special Provisions – $29 billion

Miscellaneous Manufactures – $22 billion

Exports in 2017


Perhaps unsurprisingly, machinery including computers and equipment now tops this list with $358 billion worth of exports (25% of all exports). As before, we can split these into two with $191 billion going to machinery and $167 billion accounting for electrical equipment. Rounding off the top three, we have aircraft and spacecraft which has been split from vehicles which are in fourth place; these two are worth $135 billion and $124 billion respectively.

Other Machinery – $191 billion

Electrical Machinery – $167 billion

Aircraft and Spacecraft – $135 billion

Vehicles – $124 billion

Mineral Fuels – $95 billion

Optical and Medical Apparatus – $82 billion

Plastics – $58 billion

Precious Metals – $58 billion

Pharmaceuticals – $47 billion

Organic Chemicals – $34 billion


In 10 years, there have certainly been some changes when it comes to both imports and exports and the biggest of all is the sharp increase in both for electronic goods; perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised by this. Elsewhere, the overall amount of exports has increased which perhaps alludes to the growth of the US on the international market which has enabled companies like Foxconn to spend $10 billion on a brand new plant in Wisconsin. According to Wisconsin Governor, Scott Walker, the project should be called ‘Wisconsin Valley’ since the impact of the new plant is expected to be as big as Silicon Valley in San Francisco.

With this news breaking just recently, what does it mean for the US as a whole? Over the next decade, will the imports of raw materials continue to decline? Will the electronics niche keep growing to match the figures seen elsewhere? For now, we can’t be sure but one thing is for certain; it’s going to be interesting to watch as it unfolds!

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