Top United States Trade Balances

US global trade

USA global trade

Refined petroleum, soya beans and gold are major drivers for the highest positive trade balances for the United States. Crude oil, automobiles and smartphones represent diametrically opposing influences from an economic perspective, causing the US to endure the greatest trade deficits by product.

America’s total trade balance for all products equaled a -US$803 billion deficit in 2015, up 2.7% from a -$781.9 billion shortfall during 2011.

Year over year, the -$803 billion trade deficit results from a 1.5% expansion from America’s -$781.9 billion deficit posted during 2014.

Top US Trade Balances by Product and Country

Product+

The following 10 leading products generated a surplus subtotal of $167.4 billion for US in its global trade during 2015. Metrics listed below highlight US’s strongest competitive advantages over worldwide trading partners.

  1. Processed petroleum oils: US$81.1 billion (up 36.8% since 2011)
  2. Soya beans: $23.3 billion (from a -$2.9 billion deficit)
  3. Gold (unwrought): $18.4 billion (up 6.1%)
  4. Corn: $8.5 billion (down -46.0%)
  5. Miscellaneous nuts: $8.2 billion (down -39.7%)
  6. Machinery for making semi-conductors: $6.8 billion (up 50.7%)
  7. Electro-medical equipment (e.g. xrays): $6 billion (up 240.0%)
  8. Wheat: $5.5 billion (down -21.9%)
  9. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $4.8 billion (down -53.8%)
  10. Integrated circuits/microassemblies: $4.8 billion (down -66.9%)

Soya beans reversed a -$2.9 billion deficit in 2011. Four other US exports generated the greatest surplus percentage improvements: electro-medical equipment including xrays (up 240%), machinery for making semi-conductors (up 50.7%), refined petroleum (up 36.8%) and unwrought gold (up 6.1%).

With its -66.9% decline, integrated circuits and microassemblies suffered America’s most severe surplus reduction from 2011 to 2015. US product-specific surpluses fell -58.8% for coal and solid fuels made from coal, -46% for corn, -39.7% for miscellaneous nuts and -21.9% for wheat.

Product-

The 10 major products below accumulated a deficit subtotal of -$388.8 billion for the US in international trade during 2015. America has demonstrated the severest competitive disadvantages in the exports and imports of the following commodities.

  1. Crude oil: -US$113.8 billion (up 49.1% since 2011)
  2. Cars: -$67.6 billion (up 35%)
  3. Phone system devices: -$56.3 billion (up 4.8%)
  4. Computers, optical readers: -$39.7 billion (up 53.7%)
  5. Medication mixes in dosage: -$22.6 billion (up 84.2%)
  6. Automobile parts/accessories: -$22.2 billion (down -13.9%)
  7. TV receivers/monitors/projectors: -$19.2 billion (up 42%)
  8. Miscellaneous furniture: -$19.2 billion (up 47.1%)
  9. Seats (excluding barber/dentist chairs): -$14.9 billion (up 1.8%)
  10. Jerseys, pullovers (knit or crochet): -$13.2 billion (up 23.2%)

America’s red ink in global trade expanded at the fastest rate for the following products: medication mixes in doses (up 84.2%), computers including optical readers (up 53.7%), crude oil (up 49.1%) and miscellaneous furniture (up 47.1%).

Only one of the listed trade products posted a deficit decrease from 2011: America’s negative trade balance for automobile parts and accessories fell by -13.9%.

Country+

In 2015, the US generated a surplus subtotal worth $134-billion with the following 10 trading partners.

  1. Hong Kong US$30.3 billion (down -4.9% since 2011)
  2. Netherlands $23.1 billion (up 25.3%)
  3. United Arab Emirates $20.4 billion (up 52%)
  4. Australia $14.1 billion (down -18.3%)
  5. Belgium $14.1 billion (up 15.4%)
  6. Singapore $10.1 billion (down -14.8%)
  7. Panama $7.4 billion (down -5.5%)
  8. Chile $5.9 billion (down -5.7%)
  9. Argentina $5.2 billion (down -0.1%)
  10. Peru $3.4 billion (up 137.7%)

From 2011 to 2015, the US grew its trade surpluses with four of these trade partners: Peru (up 137.7%), United Arab Emirates (up 52%), Netherlands (up 25.3%) and Belgium (up 15.4%).

Among the remaining six top countries with which the US won surpluses, America’s positive trade balances depreciated since 2011. Declines ranged from a -18.3% drop for Australia to a modest -0.1% setback for Argentina.

Country-

US experienced a losing international trade relationship with 101 countries. All told, the following 10 trade partners created a massive -$766.9 billion deficit subtotal in 2015 from exchanging exports and imports.

  1. China -US$386.4 billion (up 23.4% since 2011)
  2. Germany -$76.9 billion (up 48.6%)
  3. Japan -$72.3 billion (up 8.3%)
  4. Mexico -$61.1 billion (down -8.5%)
  5. Vietnam -$32.6 billion (up 130.5%)
  6. South Korea -$30.6 billion (up 102.2%)
  7. Ireland -$30.6 billion (down -4%)
  8. Italy -$29 billion (up 52.3%)
  9. India -$25.1 billion (up 57.7%)
  10. Malaysia -$22.3 billion (up 82.2%)

Leading growth in the size of America’s deficits by country were Vietnam (up 130.5%), South Korea (up 102.2%), Malaysia (up 82.2%), India (up 57.7%) and Italy (up 52.3%).

Only Mexico and Ireland posted smaller trade deficits with the US compared to 2011, down 8.5% and -4% respectively.




 

See also United States Top 10 Major Export Companies, United States Top 10 Exports and Capital Facts for Washington, D.C.

Research Sources:
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on November 2, 2016

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

The World Factbook, Field Listing: World, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on November 2, 2016

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