United States Commercial Import Statistics – Why Are They Important?

Imports play an extremely crucial role in the economy of the United States and in the lives of ordinary Americans. If you are already importing to the United States or considering entering the global import arena, tracking the economy, primarily import statistics, can be an invaluable source of information for your business success.

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Benefits of statistics

There are many advantages to keeping track of US trade statistics. For example, if you venture into importing and don’t know what to import yet, statistics can help you know which of the many imported products are in most demand and boost your competition’s success. This knowledge can also help you monitor these competitors.

Another advantage is finding high quality suppliers and potential buyers. How? ‘Or’ What? By checking which countries supply the greatest volume and variety of products to the United States. In other words, which country of origin is the largest supplier to importers? Knowledge helps you identify a potential market of local buyers. Discover your niche by understanding which products are in demand.

Keeping your finger on the pulse is a smart way to gather actionable insight into your product trends, helping you steer your business in the right direction. Trend statistics tell you new emerging markets, markets showing signs of recovery. On the flip side, if your market is showing negative numbers in imports, you can change direction, diversify your global sourcing, or create an action plan to prepare for a lower ROI.

Main current statistics

Let’s take a look at the current US trade statistics. Statista, one of the leading providers of market and consumer data, recently released the following statistics:

  • In 2020, the total value of US imports of goods and services reached US $ 2.81 trillion.
  • The comparative size of imports increased from around 10% of GDP in the early 1990s to 14.6% in 2019.
  • The balance of foreign trade in goods and services in the fourth quarter of 2020 amounted to a deficit of US $ 199.99 billion. Year over year (Q4 2019), the deficit was US $ 129.76 billion.
  • In 2018, the main commodity group of all imported goods was agricultural products at around 6.9%.
  • In 2019, around 23.9% of the top imported commercial services were travel services. Although travel services are provided outside of the United States, they are considered an imported foreign service because they are paid for and spent by Americans. Despite the cultural and geographic diversity of the United States, global travel experiences are a service that can never be produced locally.

China and the United States

  • In 2020, China was the United States’ largest trading partner based on an import value reaching US $ 435.4 billion. In 2019, the top 25 categories of products imported by the United States from China were computers with a total value of US $ 42.55 billion.
  • In 2020, China, Mexico, Canada, Japan and Germany completed the top five trading partners.
  • However, merchandise imports from China fell about 3.59% from 2019, when they fell 16.2%. In 2018, imports had increased by 6.73%.

There are several reasons why a country will import a good or service rather than producing it locally. The dominant economic theory is that when countries can trade, they will create products with a comparative advantage. Alternatively, some cultural products may not be available in the country, or the country does not have an appropriate climate for a specific product.

US imports are a huge industry and many businesses depend on it for their survival. eezyimport helps importers save time and money throughout the import process. Contact us to find out how you can compete and prosper in the US import trade.


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