Top Countries That Import U.S. Products by Dollar Value

Canada Tops the List With Automobiles, Accessories and Parts

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The United States literally exports trillions of dollars' worth of manufactured goods, services, natural resources, and other products to other countries every year. The U.S. set a record in 2013 when it shipped almost $2.3 trillion in products across its borders and overseas. Exports generate jobs and contribute significantly to the economic growth of the country. It's the fuel that keeps the engine of the U.S. going. Here's what other nations are eager to buy from the U.S. and which of them import the most.

 

What Does the U.S. Export? 

As the world's second-largest export economy, second only to China, the U.S. is constantly working to export goods and services. These goods and services include refined petroleum, motor vehicles, planes, helicopters, and/or spacecraft, vehicles and vehicular parts, and pharmaceuticals. In total, the United States shipped $1.547 trillion worth of products around the globe in 2017. That dollar figure represents an estimated 9.7 percent of overall global exports estimated at $15.952 trillion.

NAFTA, and Who Buys the Most Overall

U.S. President Donald Trump has called into question the merits of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In 2017, a third of American exports (34 percent) were delivered to Canada and Mexico. However, that percentage could change should the NAFTA agreement be dissolved.

Close behind America’s North American trade partners, Asian importers purchased 32.2 percent of U.S. shipments while 20.8 percent worth was delivered to Europe. A smaller percentage of 9.5 percent went to Latin America (excluding Mexico) and the Caribbean. Just 1.4 percent of U.S. shipments were destined for customers in Africa.

Top 5 Countries That Import U.S. Goods

According to the most recent data available from the U.S. Census Bureau, and other U.S. government sources, the five countries below import the largest number of purchases from the U.S. Considering the geography, it's not surprising that Canada is the number one importer of U.S. goods, but the vast array of the types of products being shipped to these countries does surprise many of those not familiar with U.S. foreign trade trends.

Canada

Even with the global automotive industry in decline, the top U.S. product imported by Canada is usually automotive-related, including accessories and parts. Machinery and electronic equipment usually come in second, with oil and plastics, medical and technical equipment, and air crafts rounding out the list. Canada imported $282.5 billion dollars' worth of U.S. goods in 2017, the last year for which detailed statistics are available. That amount represents 18.3 percent of the United States' overall exports.

Mexico

With all the media attention that U.S. trade with China receives, it may come as a surprise that Mexico still imports more U.S. goods and services than the far more populous country of China. In 2017, Mexico imported $234 billion worth of U.S. goods, including machinery, electronic equipment and, like Canada, automotive-related goods. This represents 15.7 percent of the United States' overall exports.

China

China comes in a distant third in importing of U.S. goods. China’s number one import is usually aircraft and computer accessories, computer parts and peripherals. Part of this is related to the computer assembly industry, but it also includes sales to Chinese retailers and end-users. The import of U.S. products amounted to $130.4 billion or 8.4 percent of the United States' overall exports in 2017. 

Japan

Typically, the primary import of American goods to Japan is civilian aircraft, but medical and technical equipment equals nearly the same amount of products exported to Japan from the U.S. Machinery and electronic equipment ranked number three. American exports totaled $67.7 billion in 2017 which amounted to 4.2 percent of the United States' overall exports.

United Kingdom

Like Japan, the U.K.’s primary import from across the pond was civilian aircraft. This is not surprising because the aviation industry turned to the international market when the U.S. travel market began experiencing tough times. Following aircraft, the most exported products to the U.K. were chemicals and such primary resources as metal for manufacturing, followed by electronic equipment, and, lastly, pharmaceuticals. In 2017, America's exports to the U.K. amounted to $56.3 billion or 3.5 percent of the United States' overall exports.

America's Other Top Trading Partners

Rounding out the list of America’s top trading partners in terms of U.S. export sales, the following ten countries ranked highest in 2017.

  1. Canada: US$282.5 billion (18.3% of total US exports)
  2. Mexico: $243 billion (15.7%)
  3. China: $130.4 billion (8.4%)
  4. Japan: $67.7 billion (4.4%)
  5. United Kingdom: $56.3 billion (3.6%)
  6. Germany: $53.5 billion (3.5%)
  7. South Korea: $48.3 billion (3.1%)
  8. Netherlands: $42.2 billion (2.7%)
  9. Hong Kong: $40 billion (2.6%)
  10. Brazil: $37.1 billion (2.4%)
  11. France: $34.2 billion (2.2%)
  12. Belgium: $29.9 billion (1.9%)
  13. Singapore: $29.8 billion (1.9%)
  14. Taiwan: $25.8 billion (1.7%)
  15. India: $25.7 billion (1.7%)

Almost three-quarters (74.1 percent) of American exports in 2017 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.

Thirteen of the top 15 trading partners upped their purchases of American exports from 2016 to 2017. Leading the increases were Brazil (up 23.2 percent), India (up 18.7 percent, Hong Kong (up 14.8 percent), South Korea (up 14.1 percent) and China (up 12.8 percent).

There were two declines, -1.1 percent for Taiwan and -6.8 percent for Belgium.