Top United States Trade Balances

US global trade

USA global trade

Refined petroleum, soya beans, corn and semi-conductor making machinery are major drivers for the highest positive trade balances for the United States. Cars, crude oil and smartphones represent major factors causing the US to endure the greatest trade deficits by product.

America’s trade balance for all products totaled a -US$797.9 billion deficit in 2016, up 46.4% from a -$545.2 billion shortfall during 2009.

Year over year, the -$797.9 billion trade deficit represents a -0.6% reduction compared to America’s -$803 billion deficit for 2015.

Top US Trade Balances by Product and Country

Product+

The following 10 leading products generated a surplus subtotal of $90.7 billion for US in its global trade during 2016. Metrics listed below highlight US’s strongest competitive advantages over worldwide trading partners.

  1. Processed petroleum oils: US$22.9 billion (Up from an -$18.1 billion deficit in 2009)
  2. Soya beans: $22.5 billion (Up 38.5%)
  3. Corn: $9.8 billion (Up 11.5%)
  4. Machinery for making semi-conductors: $7.3 billion (Up 222.8%)
  5. Miscellaneous nuts: $6.4 billion (Up 107.9%)
  6. Wheat: $4.9 billion (Up 4.7%)
  7. Integrated circuits/microassemblies: $4.4 billion (Down -67.8%)
  8. Electro-medical equipment (e.g. xrays): $4.3 billion (Down -35.9%)
  9. Petroleum gases: $4.27 billion (Up from a -$13.1 billion deficit in 2009)
  10. Cotton (uncarded, uncombed): $3.9 billion (Up 16.6%)

America’s exported processed petroleum oils reversed an -$18.1 billion deficit during 2009 while petroleum gases generated a surplus in contrast to a -13.1 billion shortfall 7 years earlier.

Among categories that grew existing product-specific surpluses, machinery for making semi-conductors (up 222.8%) and miscellaneous nuts (107.9%) improved at the fastest rate.

Processed petroleum oils (down -226.6%) and petroleum gases (down -132.6%) posted the most severe surplus reductions from 2009 to 2016.

Product-

The 10 major products below accumulated a deficit subtotal of -$485 billion for the US in international trade for 2016. America has demonstrated the severest competitive disadvantages in the exports and imports of the following commodities.

  1. Cars: -US$119.5 billion (Up 121.9% since 2009)
  2. Crude oil: -$99.8 billion (Down -49.8%)
  3. Phone system devices including smartphones: -$71 billion (Up 77.2%)
  4. Computers, optical readers: -$53.4 billion (Up 56.7%)
  5. Medication mixes in dosage: -$45 billion (Up 96.8%)
  6. Automobile parts/accessories: -$23.8 billion (Up 286.1%)
  7. Miscellaneous furniture: -$20.3 billion (Up 81.3%)
  8. Seats (excluding barber/dentist chairs): -$19.5 billion (Up 117.5%)
  9. TV receivers/monitors/projectors: -$18.8 billion (Down -37%)
  10. Jerseys, pullovers (knit or crochet): -$13.8 billion (Up 12.6%)

America’s red ink in global trade expanded at the fastest rate for the following products: automobile parts and accessories (up 286.1%), cars (up 121.9%), seats (up 117.5%) and medicines in dosage (up 96.8%).

Two of the listed trade products posted deficit decreases since 2009. America’s negative trade balance for crude oil fell in value by -49.8% while TV receivers, monitors and projectors dropped -37%.

Country+

In 2016, the US generated a surplus subtotal worth $122.4 billion with the following 10 trading partners.

  1. Hong Kong: US$27.4 billion (Up 57% since 2009)
  2. Netherlands: $23.7 billion (Up 50%)
  3. United Arab Emirates: $18.8 billion (Up 78.7%)
  4. Belgium: $14.8 billion (Up 94%)
  5. Australia: $12.4 billion (Up 9%)
  6. Singapore: $8.8 billion (Up 37.6%)
  7. Panama: $5.7 billion (Up 41.7%)
  8. Qatar: $3.7 billion (Up 71.2%)
  9. Argentina: $3.7 billion (Up 156.8%)
  10. Chile: $3.4 billion (Up 23.6%)

From 2009 to 2016, the US grew its trade surpluses with four of these trade partners: Argentina (up 156.8%), Belgium (up 94%), United Arab Emirates (up 78.7%) and Qatar (up 71.2%). The lowest increase in top country-specific surpluses was America’s 9% gain trading with Australia.

Country-

US experienced a losing international trade relationship with 101 countries. The following 10 trade partners created a massive -$751.8 billion deficit subtotal in 2016 from exchanging exports and imports.

  1. China: -US$366 billion (Up 52.5% since 2009)
  2. Japan: -$72 billion (Up 52.5%)
  3. Germany: -$67.1 billion (Up 128%)
  4. Mexico: -$65.9 billion (Up 33.7%)
  5. Ireland: -$36.1 billion (Up 74.8%)
  6. Vietnam: -$33.6 billion (Up 238.6%)
  7. Italy: -$29.8 billion (Up 98.3%)
  8. South Korea: -$29.7 billion (Up 149.2%)
  9. India: -$26 billion (Up 366.2%)
  10. Malaysia: -$25.5 billion (Up 89.3%)

Leading growth in the size of America’s country-specific deficits were India (up 366.2%), Vietnam (up 238.6%), South Korea (up 149.2%) and Germany (up 128%). The mildest deficit growth was the 33.7% increase for US trade with Mexico.




 

See also United States Top 10 Major Export Companies and United States Top 10 Exports

Research Sources:
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on February 10, 2017

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on November 2, 2016

The World Factbook, Field Listing: World, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on February 10, 2017

Wikipedia, Economy of the United States. Accessed on November 2, 2016