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$862.7 billion deficit for 2017, up 25% from a -$690.2 billion shortfall during 2010.

Year over year, the -$862.7 billion trade deficit represents an 8.1% expansion compared to America’s -$797.8 billion deficit for 2016.

Top US Trade Balances by Product and Country

Product+

The following 10 leading products generated a surplus subtotal of $116.8 billion for US in its global trade during 2017. Metrics listed below highlight US’s strongest competitive advantages over worldwide trading partners by product.

  1. Processed petroleum oils: US$29.9 billion (Reversing a -$15.5 billion deficit in 2010)
  2. Soya beans: $21.2 billion (Up 15.3% from 2010)
  3. Petroleum gases: $10.8 billion (Reversing a -$13.5 billion deficit)
  4. Machinery for making semi-conductors: $9.7 billion (Up 43.5%)
  5. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $9.2 billion (Up 11%)
  6. Corn: $9.1 billion (Down -6.6%)
  7. Gold (unwrought): $8.7 billion (Up 195.2%)
  8. Miscellaneous nuts: $7 billion (Up 88%)
  9. Cotton (uncarded, uncombed): $5.8 billion (Up 1.6%)
  10. Wheat: $5.4 billion (Down -12.4%)

America’s exported processed petroleum oils went from red ink in 2010 to a significant surplus for 2017. There was a similar happy story for petroleum gases that also swung from deficit to surplus over the 7-year period.

Among categories that grew existing product-specific surpluses, gold (up 195.2%) and miscellaneous nuts (up 88%) improved at the fastest rate.

US wheat (down -12.4%) and corn (down -6.6%) posted surplus reductions from 2010 to 2017.

Product-

The 10 major products below accumulated a deficit subtotal of -$525.1 billion for the US in international trade for 2017. America has demonstrated the severest competitive disadvantages in the exports and imports of the following commodities.

  1. Cars: -US$126 billion (Up 63% since 2010)
  2. Crude oil: -$117.2 billion (Down -55.7%)
  3. Phone system devices including smartphones: -$79.1 billion (Up 63.3%)
  4. Computers, optical readers: -$59.6 billion (Up 25.6%)
  5. Medication mixes in dosage: -$44.9 billion (Up 67.8%)
  6. Miscellaneous furniture: -$22.4 billion (Up 65.5%)
  7. Automobile parts/accessories: -$21.7 billion (Up 102.7%)
  8. Seats (excluding barber/dentist chairs): -$20.4 billion (Up 63.4%)
  9. TV receivers/monitors/projectors: -$19.8 billion (Down -35.4%)
  10. Turbo-jets: -$14 billion (Up 157.8%)

America’s red ink in global trade expanded at the fastest rate for the following products: turbo-jets (up 157.8%), automobile parts and accessories (up 102.7%), medication mixes in dosage (up 67.8%) and miscellaneous furniture (up 65.5%).

Two of the listed trade products posted deficit decreases since 2010. America’s negative trade balance for crude oil fell in value by -55.7% while TV receivers, monitors and projectors dropped -35.4%.

Country+

In 2017, the US generated a surplus subtotal worth $130.4 billion with the following 10 trading partners.

  1. Hong Kong: US$32.3 billion (Up 46% since 2010)
  2. Netherlands: $23.8 billion (Up 39.9%)
  3. United Arab Emirates: $15.5 billion (Up 47.7%)
  4. Belgium: $14.4 billion (Up 49.5%)
  5. Australia: $14.3 billion (Up 9.9%)
  6. Singapore: $10.1 billion (Down -10.7%)
  7. Brazil: $6.6 billion (Down -37.1%)
  8. Panama: $6 billion (Up 5.8%)
  9. Argentina: $4.5 billion (Up 34.2%)
  10. Dominican Republic: $2.9 billion (Up 4.1%)

From 2010 to 2017, the US grew its trade surpluses at the fastest pace with: Belgium (up 49.5%), United Arab Emirates (up 47.7%), Hong Kong (up 46%) and the Netherlands (up 39.9%).

There were two decliners over the 7-year period, Brazil (down -37.1%) and Singapore (down -10.7%).

Country-

US experienced a money-losing international trade relationship with 102 countries (or territories). The following 10 trade partners created a massive -$795.5 billion deficit subtotal in 2017 from exchanging exports and imports.

  1. China: -US$395.8 billion (Up 36% since 2010)
  2. Mexico: -$74 billion (Up 7.9%)
  3. Japan: -$72.2 billion (Up 14%)
  4. Germany: -$66.7 billion (Up 84.5%)
  5. Vietnam: -$40.3 billion (Up 230.5%)
  6. Ireland: -$38.3 billion (Up 43.6%)
  7. Italy: -$33.1 billion (Up 116.9%)
  8. Malaysia: -$25.3 billion (Up 101.8%)
  9. India: -$24.9 billion (Up 117.3%)
  10. South Korea: -$24.9 (Up 111.2%)

Leading growth in the size of America’s country-specific deficits were Vietnam (up 230.5%), India (up 117.3%), Italy (up 116.9%), South Korea (up 128%) and Malaysia (up 101.8%).

The mildest deficit growth was the 7.9% increase resulting from US trade with Mexico.




 

See also United States Top 10 Major Export Companies, United States Top 10 Exports, Richest Countries by Products Trade Balances and Richest Countries by Services Trade Balances

Research Sources:
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on February 7, 2018

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

The World Factbook, Field Listing: World, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on February 7, 2018

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