United States Top 10 Imports

United States Top 10 Imports

by Flagpictures.org

The United States of America imported US$2.409 trillion worth of goods from around the globe in 2017. That dollar amount reflects a 3.6% uptick since 2013 and a 7.2% gain from 2016 to 2017.

From January to September 2018, America’s imported goods were valued at $1.938 trillion. This 9-month metric puts US imports on track for an annualized $2.584 trillion estimated for all 2018.

From a continental perspective, 45.9% of America’s total imports by value in 2017 were purchased from providers in Asia. Fellow North American trade partners supplied 25.9% of import sales to the U.S. while 21.1% worth originated from Europe. At 5%, suppliers from Latin America (excluding Mexico) plus the Caribbean account for a smaller percentage of American import purchasea, with an even tinier 1.4% coming from shippers in Africa.

Given America’s population of 326.6 million people, its total $2.409 trillion in 2017 imports translates to roughly $7,400 in yearly product demand from each U.S. resident.

As of June 2018, U.S. import purchases were valued at $1.268 trillion up 8.6% compared to the first 6 months of 2017.

United States Top 10 Imports

Top 10

The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in America’s import purchases during 2017. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into the US.

  1. Electrical machinery, equipment: US$356.8 billion (14.8% of total imports)
  2. Machinery including computers: $349.1 billion (14.5%)
  3. Vehicles: $294.6 billion (12.2%)
  4. Mineral fuels including oil: $204.2 billion (8.5%)
  5. Pharmaceuticals: $96.4 billion (4%)
  6. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $86.2 billion (3.6%)
  7. Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefab buildings: $67.2 billion (2.8%)
  8. Gems, precious metals: $60 billion (2.5%)
  9. Plastics, plastic articles: $54.9 billion (2.3%)
  10. Organic chemicals: $46.1 billion (1.9%)

Note that the results listed above are at the categorized two-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level. For a more detailed view of imported goods at the four-digit HTS code level, see the section Searchable List of America’s Most Valuable Import Products further down near the bottom of this article or under the adjacent product folder tabs.

America’s imports of mineral fuels including oil had the fastest-growing increase in value among the top 10 import categories, up 25.2% from 2016 to 2017. This gain was propelled by higher purchases of crude and refined petroleum oils as well as petroleum gas.

In second place for expanding import purchases was machinery including computers via a 10.7% uptick.

American imports of plastics delivered the third-fastest improvement up 9%.

Two import product categories declined year over year, namely gems and precious metals (down -8.2%) led by reduced purchases of gold and diamonds and organic chemicals (down -7.4%).

Also see the section Searchable List of America’s Most Valuable Import Products further down near the bottom of this article.


In 2017, American importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electronic equipment:

  1. Phone system devices including smartphones: US$113.1 billion (up 7.7% from 2016)
  2. Integrated circuits/microassemblies: $33.5 billion (up 8.9%)
  3. TV receivers/monitors/projectors: $24.6 billion (up 5.2%)
  4. Insulated wire/cable: $20.2 billion (up 4.2%)
  5. Electrical converters/power units: $14.2 billion (up 0.7%)
  6. TV receiver/transmit/digital cameras: $11.9 billion (up 12.1%)
  7. Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels: $11.3 billion (up 6.5%)
  8. Unrecorded sound media: $11.3 billion (up 28.9%)
  9. Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $10.9 billion (up 4.4%)
  10. Solar power diodes/semi-conductors: $10.7 billion (down -22.8%)

Among these import subcategories, America’s purchases of unrecorded sound media (up 28.9%), TV receivers, transmitters, and digital cameras (up 12.1%) and integrated circuits or microassemblies (up 8.9%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported electronics among U.S. businesses and consumers.


In 2017, American importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machinery:

  1. Computers, optical readers: US$84.9 billion (up 9.3% from 2016)
  2. Turbo-jets: $23.7 billion (up 7.8%)
  3. Computer parts, accessories: $23 billion (up 41.1%)
  4. Printing machinery: $17 billion (down -1.7%)
  5. Taps, valves, similar appliances: $14.9 billion (up 8.1%)
  6. Air or vacuum pumps: $11.3 billion (up 10%)
  7. Piston engines: $11.1 billion (up 0.4%)
  8. Liquid pumps and elevators: $10.6 billion (up 10.6%)
  9. Piston engine parts: $9.4 billion (up 1.6%)
  10. Refrigerators, freezers: $9.2 billion (up 5.3%)

Among these import subcategories, America’s purchases of computer parts or accessories (up 41.1%), liquid pumps and elevators (up 10.6%) and air or vacuum pumps (up 10%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported machinery among U.S. businesses and consumers.


In 2017, American importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of vehicles:

  1. Cars: US$179.6 billion (up 3.6% from 2016)
  2. Automobile parts/accessories: $66.6 billion (up 0.2%)
  3. Trucks: $26.5 billion (up 5.3%)
  4. Tractors: $9.1 billion (up 11.8%)
  5. Trailers: $3.6 billion (up 17.2%)
  6. Motorcycles: $2.3 billion (up 8.7%)
  7. Motorcycle parts/accessories: $1.5 billion (up 3.9%)
  8. Bicycles, other non-motorized cycles: $1.4 billion (down -3.2%)
  9. Public-transport vehicles: $1.1 billion (up 15.9%)
  10. Automobile bodies: $898.2 million (down -2.5%)

Among these import subcategories, America’s purchases of trailers (up 17.2%), public-transport vehicles (up 15.9%) and tractors (up 11.8%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported vehicles among U.S. businesses and consumers.


In 2017, American importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of mineral fuels-related products:

  1. Crude oil: US$139.1 billion (up 28.7% from 2016)
  2. Processed petroleum oils: $48 billion (up 16.2%)
  3. Petroleum gases: $11.5 billion (up 33%)
  4. Electrical energy: $2.4 billion (up 8.4%)
  5. Petroleum oil residues: $1.1 billion (up 42.4%)
  6. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $658.5 million (down -5.8%)
  7. Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $481.8 million (down -1.6%)
  8. Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $438.7 million (up 5.4%)
  9. Peat: $365.8 million (up 7.2%)
  10. Asphalt/petroleum bitumen mixes: $89.6 million (up 65.5%)

Among these import subcategories, America’s purchases of asphalt or petroleum bitumen mixes (up 65.5%), petroleum oil residues (up 42.4%) and petroleum gases (up 33%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported energy supplies among U.S. businesses and consumers.


Searchable List of America’s Most Valuable Import Products

At the more granular four-digit HTS code level, the top U.S. import products are cars followed by crude oil, mobile phones, computers then auto parts.

The following searchable table displays 200 of America’s most in-demand imported goods during 2017. Shown beside each product label is its total import value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2016.

RankUS Import Product2017 Value (US$)Change
1Cars$179.6 billion+3.9%
2Crude oil$139.1 billion+23.4%
3Phone system devices including smartphones $113.1 billion+5.4%
4Computers, optical readers$85 billion+6.4%
5Automobile parts/accessories$66.6 billion-0.3%
6Medication mixes in dosage$65 billion-5.9%
7Processed petroleum oils$48 billion+10.9%
8Integrated circuits/microassemblies$33.5 billion+8%
9Trucks$26.5 billion+8.4%
10Blood fractions (including antisera)$26 billion+27.5%
11Miscellaneous furniture$25.4 billion+9.3%
12Seats (excluding barber/dentist chairs)$24.8 billion+3.6%
13TV receivers/monitors/projectors$24.6 billion+3%
14Turbo-jets$23.7 billion+6.4%
15Diamonds (unmounted/unset)$23.2 billion+1.8%
16Computer parts, accessories$23 billion+40.6%
17Electro-medical equip (e.g. xrays)$23 billion+2.8%
18Insulated wire/cable$20.2 billion+3.5%
19Printing machinery$17 billion-3.3%
20Aircraft parts$16.8 billion-1.6%
21Models, puzzles, wheeled toys$15 billion+1.1%
22Taps, valves, similar appliances$14.9 billion+7%
23Jerseys, pullovers (knit or crochet)$14.4 billion-5%
24Electrical converters/power units$14.2 billion+0.4%
25Rubber tires (new)$14.2 billion+2.2%
26Aircraft, spacecraft$13.8 billion-8.1%
27Orthopedic appliances$12 billion+13.4%
28TV receiver/transmit/digital cameras$11.9 billion+14%
29Lamps, lighting, illuminated signs$11.9 billion+4%
30Petroleum gases$11.5 billion+38.7%
31Air or vacuum pumps$11.3 billion+10.8%
32Cases, handbags, wallets$11.3 billion-1.7%
33Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels$11.3 billion+4%
34Unrecorded sound media$11.3 billion+28.6%
35Gold (unwrought)$11.1 billion-37.8%
36Piston engines$11.1 billion-1%
37Aluminum (unwrought)$10.9 billion+30.6%
38Lower-voltage switches, fuses$10.9 billion+3.4%
39Heterocyclics, nucleic acids$10.8 billion-10%
40Solar power diodes/semi-conductors$10.7 billion-27%
41Footwear (leather)$10.7 billion-13.7%
42Liquid pumps and elevators$10.6 billion+11.6%
43Miscellaneous plastic items$10.2 billion+9.6%
44Women's clothing (not knit or crochet)$10 billion-4.1%
45Electric motors, generators$9.7 billion+7.6%
46Piston engine parts$9.4 billion+1.3%
47Refrigerators, freezers$9.2 billion+1.5%
48Jewelry$9.2 billion+9.8%
49Tractors$9.1 billion+15.2%
50Transmission shafts, gears, clutches$9 billion+11.3%
51Electrical machinery$8.8 billion+3.4%
52Footwear (textile)$8.5 billion+6.8%
53Electric water heaters, hair dryers$8.4 billion+2.1%
54Miscellaneous machinery$8.3 billion+25.2%
55Machinery parts$8.3 billion+20.8%
56Centrifuges, filters and purifiers$8.3 billion+3.8%
57Men's suits, trousers (not knit or crochet)$8.2 billion-6.9%
58Air conditioners$8 billion+10.6%
59Alcohol (including spirits, liqueurs)$8 billion+3.4%
60Machinery for making semi-conductors$7.9 billion+38.2%
61Plastic packing goods, lids, caps$7.7 billion+3.8%
62Crustaceans (including lobsters)$7.5 billion+10.3%
63Sawn wood$7.5 billion+8.1%
64Miscellaneous carbon products$7.3 billion+20.2%
65Electric storage batteries$7 billion+32.6%
66Base metal mountings, fittings$6.9 billion+4.3%
67Table games, bowling equipment$6.8 billion+24.2%
68Sports equipment$6.5 billion+9.6%
69Coffee$6.3 billion+8.9%
70Women's clothing (knit or crochet)$6.2 billion-3.3%
71Wine $6.2 billion+8.9%
72Fish fillets, pieces$6.1 billion+7.8%
73Physical/chemical analysis tools$6.1 billion+2.4%
74Footwear (rubber or plastic)$6 billion-5.2%
75Engines (diesel)$6 billion+10.5%
76Miscellaneous heterocyclics$5.9 billion-35.7%
77Pneumatic hand tool$5.9 billion+14.1%
78Linens$5.9 billion+2.5%
79T-shirts, vests (knit or crochet)$5.8 billion-3.2%
80Microphones/headphones/amps$5.8 billion+0.7%
81Electrical lighting/signaling equpment, defrosters$5.8 billion+2.1%
82Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers)$5.7 billion+13%
83Temperature-change machines$5.5 billion+8.2%
84Plastic tableware, kitchenware, toiletry$5.3 billion+3.3%
85Malt beer$5.3 billion+3.9%
86Other measuring/testing machines$5.2 billion+8.5%
87Iron and steel screws, bolts, nuts, washers$5.2 billion+8.1%
88Natural calcium phosphates$5.1 billion+10.1%
89Refined copper, unwrought alloys$5.1 billion+45.3%
90Miscellaneous engines, motors$5.1 billion+5.4%
91Miscellaneous iron or steel items$4.9 billion+8.8%
92Beauty/makeup/skin care preparations$4.9 billion+7.4%
93Regulate/control instruments$4.8 billion+2.7%
94Miscellaneous articles, dress patterns$4.8 billion+4.9%
95Radar, radio communication items$4.8 billion-1.2%
96Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$4.8 billion+6.9%
97Platinum (unwrought)$4.5 billion+41.3%
98Flat-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (plated/coated)$4.5 billion+22.7%
99Ethylene polymers$4.4 billion+3.8%
100Fiberboard$4.4 billion+16.7%
101Miscellaneous iron or steel tubes, pipes$4.4 billion+78.4%
102Miscellaneous iron and steel structures$4.3 billion-10.1%
103X-ray equipment$4.2 billion-0.9%
104Dates/figs/pineapples/mangoes/avocadoes/guavas$4.2 billion+29.7%
105Electric ignition/start equipment$4.1 billion+1.3%
106Telecommunication receivers$4.1 billion-8.7%
107Vulcanized rubber items$4.1 billion+3.1%
108Mattresses, quilts$3.9 billion+14.3%
109Silver (unwrought)$3.7 billion-17%
110Trailers$3.6 billion+18.5%
111Electric sound/visual signal bells or alarms$3.6 billion+3.3%
112Mechano-therapy appliances$3.5 billion+12.9%
113Rubber/plastic article making machines$3.5 billion+13.2%
114Carnival items, magic tricks$3.5 billion-10.1%
115Iron or steel tubes, pipes$3.5 billion+85.4%
116 Dishwashing, clean/dry/fill machines $3.5 billion+6.8%
117Railway/streetcar miscellaneous parts$3.5 billion+31.1%
118Oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers$3.4 billion+7.7%
119Men's shirts (not knit or crochet)$3.4 billion-9.7%
120Other diagnostic/lab reagents$3.4 billion+18.9%
121Non-alcoholic drinks (not water/juice/milk)$3.4 billion+5.7%
122Liquid crystal/laser/optical tools$3.4 billion+11.3%
123Iron and steel stoves, barbecues$3.3 billion+19.6%
124Liquid/gas checking instruments$3.3 billion+9.5%
125Women's underwear, pajamas (knit or crochet)$3.3 billion-2.4%
126Miscellaneous fresh/chilled vegetables$3.2 billion+7.4%
127Electric circuit parts, fuses, switches$3.2 billion+7.6%
128Wrist/pocket watches (no precious metal case)$3.2 billion-11.8%
129Iron ferroalloys$3.1 billion+75.2%
130TV/radio/radar device parts$3.1 billion-3.4%
131Polyacetal/ether/carbonates$3.1 billion+16.6%
132Filament/discharge lamps$3.1 billion+83.9%
133Miscellaneous preserved fruits$3.1 billion+7%
134Interchangeable hand/machine tools$3.1 billion+16.6%
135Ball, roller bearings$3.1 billion+9.2%
136Monument/building stones, art$3 billion-2.9%
137Laminated wood (including plywood, veneer panels)$3 billion+2.8%
138Miscellaneous fruits (fresh)$3 billion+32.1%
139Sutures, special pharmaceutical goods$2.9 billion+13.9%
140Iron and steel tables, household items$2.9 billion+2.6%
141Bras, corsets (not knit or crochet)$2.9 billion+3.3%
142Crustaceans, molluscs (preserved/prepared)$2.9 billion+11.2%
143Asbestos$2.8 billion+0.3%
144Fresh or chilled beef$2.8 billion+1.2%
145Other machine parts, accessories$2.8 billion+11.6%
146Bananas, plantains$2.8 billion+3.3%
147Bottles, flasks, jars, pots, other containers$3 billion+3.9%
148Iron or non-alloy steel products (semi-finished)$2.8 billion+61.2%
149Paper containers, cellulose wadding$2.7 billion+4.5%
150Women's shirts (not knit or crochet)$2.7 billion-7.7%
151Vacuum cleaners$2.7 billion+15.2%
152Spray/dispersing mechanical appliances$2.7 billion+15.4%
153Moulding boxes/base$2.7 billion+16.1%
154Carbon electrodes, brushes$2.6 billion-33.2%
155Potassic fertilizers$2.6 billion+37.3%
156Asphalt articles$2.6 billion+7.4%
157Sulphonamides$2.6 billion-47.5%
158Tracksuits, swimwear (not knit or crochet)$2.6 billion+10.7%
159Scents used for beverage or industrial manufacturing$2.6 billion+11.2%
160Locks, lock-keys$2.5 billion+2.8%
161Plastic tile or roll coverings$2.5 billion+25.6%
162Optical fiber cables, sheets, plates$2.4 billion+8%
163Chemical industry products/residuals$2.4 billion-15.8%
164Spectacles, goggles$2.4 billion-4.9%
165Acyclic alcohols$2.4 billion+28%
166Clothing, accessories (vulcanized rubber)$2.4 billion+12.4%
167Fork-lift trucks$2.4 billion+20.4%
168Electrical energy$2.4 billion+8.7%
169Other food preparations$2.4 billion+7.1%
170Perfumes, toilet waters$2.4 billion+11.7%
171Unglazed ceramic tiles$2.3 billion-7.1%
172Wood carpentry, builders' joinery$2.3 billion+2.2%
173Stockings, hosiery (knit or crochet)$2.3 billion-4.1%
174Nitrogenous fertilizers$2.3 billion+7.8%
175Tomatoes (fresh/chilled)$2.3 billion-1.4%
176Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$2.3 billion+5.9%
177Sauces, preparations, mixed condiments$2.3 billion+18%
178Iron or steel pipe fittings$2.2 billion+17.4%
179Frozen beef$2.2 billion-7.6%
180Plastic tubes, pipes, fittings$2.2 billion+20.8%
181Coated paper$2.2 billion-4.1%
182Precious/semi-precious stones (unstrung)$2.1 billion+9.9%
183Concrete/artificial stone items$2.1 billion+20.9%
184Amino-compounds (oxygen)$2.1 billion-3.1%
185Washing machines$2.1 billion+16.3%
186Whole fish (fresh)$2.1 billion+5.5%
187Women's coats, jackets (not knit or crochet)$2.1 billion-14.4%
188Unglazed ceramic flags, tiles, mosaic cubes$2.1 billion+622.1%
189Printed circuits$2.1 billion-5%
190Metal soldering/hot-spray equipment$2.1 billion+35.7%
191Fruit and vegetable juices$2.1 billion+11%
192Men's shirts (knit or crochet)$2 billion-0.6%
193Soap, organics surface-active products$2 billion+7.6%
194Hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products$2 billion-16.4%
195Natural rubber$2 billion+35.3%
196Uncoated paper for writing/printing$1.9 billion-8.2%
197Yachts, other pleasure/sports vessels$1.9 billion+11.2%
198Men's coats, jackets (not knit or crochet)$1.9 billion-10.8%
199Demonstration instruments$1.9 billion-6.6%
200Printed books, brochures$1.9 billion+0.2%

These 200 imported goods were worth a subtotal of US$1.917 trillion or almost four-fifths (79.6%) by value for all products imported into the United States during 2017.

See also United States Top 10 Exports, America’s Top Trading Partners, Top United States Trade Balances and America’s Top 20 Export States and United States Top 10 Major Export Companies

Research Sources:
The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed August 7, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on August 7, 2018