Buyers and Sellers: U.S. Manufacturing in World Trade
Manufacturers in the United States export goods worth trillions of dollars every year. From electrical, chemical, and medical products and equipment to metals, food, and machinery, manufacturing and exporting these wares go hand in hand. But who’s buying what from the U.S. — and what are we importing?
United States manufacturers export their wares to 238 countries, but Canada, Mexico, the Eurozone, and China import the majority, with a combined total of 51%. As the world’s third-largest exporter, they’re buying U.S. aircraft, vehicles, petroleum, and pharmaceuticals. With 18% of all U.S. exports, Canadians import vehicles and automotive parts, machinery, and electronics among others. Mexico comes in second, also importing machinery, electronics, and automotive parts. Unbelievably for many, China is third in the ranks with imports of U.S. aircraft and computer-related products. Chinese importers buy 7.7% of all U.S. exports. Japan accounts for 4.2% of U.S. exports, which include aircraft, medical and technical goods, along with machinery and electronics. Coming in a close fifth place is the United Kingdom with imports of aircraft, chemicals, raw materials, electronics, and pharmaceuticals, making up 3.8% of U.S. exports.
Just how much are these and other importers buying in American goods? The top five U.S. exports and their values include:
- $190 billion in machinery
- $167 billion in electrical machinery and equipment
- $134 billion in air- and spacecraft
- $124 billion in vehicles
- $94 billion in fuels and oil
When it comes to imports, according to the The Balance article, we’re buying the majority from China, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and the United Kingdom. From China, we’re importing $502 billion worth of tech devices and other goods. The number-one buyer of U.S. exports, Canada, is number two on our import list with $302 billion in oil, vehicle, and machinery imports, making up a whopping 13% of all U.S. imports. Our southern neighbor, Mexico, exports $297 billion of goods to us in the U.S., which includes manufactured products like vehicles, electronics, and machinery. Fourth on the list of U.S. imports is Japan, from which we import $134 billion in products, mainly vehicles. Down to the double digits, Germany is fifth on the U.S. import list with $75 billion in vehicles, machinery, and pharmaceuticals.
As globalization continues to shape manufacturing, those in the industry will have a firsthand view of how supply, demand, and trade deals will mold its future. More countries and more companies beefing up their exports might make the landscape more competitive, but “Made in America” will likely continue to make U.S.-manufactured products strong contenders.