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!