The United States’ Foreign Trade Aspects

Subject: Economics
Pages: 5
Words: 1430
Reading time:
6 min
Study level: PhD


The United States belongs to the number of countries with the most developed economies. It maintains trading relationships with largest producing countries all over the world, buying and selling great quantities of essential goods. The paper is aimed at reviewing the most recent statistical data on foreign trade links of the United States. Due to that, it is possible to define the tendencies of further economical development of the country and evolution of its relationships with important trading partners. Three major questions connected to the field of international trade are covered in the paper. First, it touches upon export and import articles of the United States. To continue, the paper presents the information on the most important trading partners of the country and its trading balance. In the end, it gives a brief description of the present situation.

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Case Analysis

The United States is one of the countries with the most developed economic systems but it is impossible to see the whole picture of its economic situation without considering its trading relationships with partners and some issues that may occur in this field. The currency of the country is widely used in international banking activities, it serves as an official currency in a few countries all over the world, and there are also many non-official users of the U.S. dollar. To understand the economical situation of this country better, it is necessary to focus on its external commercial relationships with other countries. This paper is aimed at reviewing the up-to-date data concerning the present position of the United States as a valuable partner for other countries and its mutually advantageous commercial relationships with them. Other important issues that have to be examined are the items of trade that are the most beneficial for its further economic development; this review will help to define which trading partners are the most important for the United States. Besides, it is essential to define the counties whose trade deficits and surpluses with the United States are the largest. Finally, such review allows to consider the most significant tendencies connected to the foreign trade situation of the country; due to that, it becomes possible to make a conclusion on the aspects that should be paid more attention to in order to address economical issues existing in the Unites States.

International Trade

The United States is quite a successful country in terms of foreign trade. Its economic market is significant for other developed world economies; establishing commercial relations with the United States, other countries get an opportunity to make a significant contribution to the development of their inner structures and improve the quality of lives of their citizens. The United States sells a lot of goods every year. Among popular items of export to other countries there are a variety of consumer goods (including many subtypes such as specialty goods, house ware, and the goods used by specific groups of people), food products, beverages, the components of motor vehicles, farm products such as corn and soy, and medical drugs (“Foreign trade,” 2016). According to the data on merchandise exports from the United States last year, the primary items of export were machinery goods (more than 13 %) and electrical equipment (more than 11 %) whereas the least popular items of export were healthcare products such as drugs (about 3 %) and organic chemicals (less than 2 %). As for the types of goods that belong to the most popular items of import in the United States, there are plenty of them. These goods include a variety of farm products, industrial products, household appliances, computers, office machinery, automotive components, and a wide range of consumer goods such as the items of clothing, toys, pieces of furniture, and household goods. As for the particular imports that are the most significant for the economy in terms of value, there are a variety of electronic goods (about 14,5%) and machinery goods (more than 14%), whereas the least important are organic chemicals and plastics (about 2%). Therefore, we can conclude that leading items of import and export of the United States are different electronic and machinery goods.

The United States has been expanding its imports and exports to be able to propel its economical development to the next level since the middle of the twentieth century. Nowadays, the rates of the country’s total imports tend to grow faster than the number of exported goods. Having one of the largest economies in the world, the United States establishes and maintains mutually advantageous relationships with many countries. According to statistical data on merchandise export from the United States, Mexico was its most important commercial partner last year. Total export from the United States to Mexico was more than 111 billion dollars. Nevertheless, the exports to Mexico seem to have significantly decreased if compared to the data reported two years ago (at that point of time, the income earned from export to Mexico was 6 billion larger). Apart from Mexico, the United States has managed to establish steady commercial relationships with Canada that also belongs to its most important trading partners. According to the recent data, the income earned from selling the goods to Canada was more than 53 billion dollars (“TradeStats Express,” 2016). Similar to the situation with Mexico, the income from exports to Canada has also decreased (two years ago it was 2 billion larger). The third country that also belongs to the most important export partners of the United States is China (Morrison, 2014, p.493). As for the total income earned from exporting merchandise from the United States to China, it was more than 26 billion dollars. The decrease in income gained from exporting the goods to China was less significant if compared to ones experienced during trading with Mexico and Canada (it was about 400 million dollars). As for the present situation with the goods imported from other countries, three leading positions are held by these countries as well. Nevertheless, the most significant trading partner that sells the goods to the United States is China known as one of the largest producing countries in the world (David, Dorn, & Hanson, 2013). According to the reports, more than 480 billion dollars were spent last year on importing the goods from China. To continue, Mexico remains the second largest importing partner of the United States; last year, more than 296 billion dollars were spent on buying goods from Mexico. As it is clear from the data that has been reported earlier, imports from Mexico have increased by 16 billion dollars. Obviously, Canada is the third largest import partner of the United States. Last year, the United States spent about 296 billion dollars on buying the goods from Canada. As it is clear from statistical information, the United States has started to spend less money on buying goods from Canada four years ago. To be more precise, this figure has decreased by 36 billion dollars. As it is clear from the data exposed, China, Mexico, and Canada remain the most significant sales partners to the United States.

Another important topic to touch upon is the balance of trade. In case when there is a significant imbalance between the goods sold and bought, the notions of trade surplus or deficit are used. As for the present situation of the United States’ commercial partners, it is possible to conclude that many of them have significant trade surpluses with this country. To be more precise, China has a 367 billion dollar trade surplus with the United States which is the largest one. Among other countries having significant trade surpluses with the United States, there are Germany (75 billion dollar surplus), Japan (69 billion dollar surplus), and Mexico (60 billion dollar surplus). As for the countries that have a reverse trade situation in connection to the United States, there are Hong Kong (30 billion dollar trade deficit), Netherlands (23 billion dollar trade deficit), and United Arab Emirates (20 billion dollar trade deficit).


The United States is a country that has many foreign trade partners but the most important ones are China, Mexico, and Canada. It exports and imports a lot of goods; however, machinery and electronic devices remain the most important items of its global trade. There is no doubt that the United States is believed to be the country experiencing economic success. Nevertheless, many of its trade partners such as China, Germany, and Mexico have significant trade surpluses with the United States, and it means that additional measures have to be taken to balance the situation.


David, H., Dorn, D., & Hanson, G. H. (2013). The China syndrome: Local labor market effects of import competition in the United States. The American Economic Review, 103(6), 2121-2168.

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Foreign trade. (2016). Web.

Morrison, W. M. (2014). China’s economic rise: History, trends, challenges, and implications for the United States. Current Politics and Economics of Northern and Western Asia, 23(4), 493.

TradeStats Express. (2016). Web.