Current data is through December 2019.

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Trade Snapshot

U.S. trade decreases 1.50 percent through December, 2019

U.S. trade with the world totaled $4.14 trillion in 2019, according to a WorldCity analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau data.

That’s a 1.5 percent decrease since the previous year. The nation’s exports dropped 1.13 percent to $1.65 trillion and imports dropped 1.74 percent to $2.49 trillion. The overall trade deficit was $853 billion down compared to all of 2018, when the deficit was $879 billion.

In 2019, the nation’s top trade partners were No. 1 Mexico, No. 2 Canada, No. 3 China, No. 4 Japan and No. 5 Germany. The previous year, the top five spots were held by No. 1 China, No. 2 Canada, No. 3 Mexico, No. 4 Japan and No. 5 Germany, respectively.

Taking a closer look at the leading U.S. trade partners:

  • No. 1 Mexico’s trade rose 0.48 percent to $615 billion. Exports fell 3.26 percent to $256 billion. Imports rose 3.35 percent to $358 billion.
  • No. 2 Canada’s trade fell 0.82 percent to $612 billion. Exports fell 2.12 percent to $292 billion. Imports rose 0.39 percent to $320 billion.
  • No. 3 China’s trade fell 15.3 percent to $559 billion. Exports fell 11.4 percent to $107 billion. Imports fell 16.17 percent to $452 billion.
  • No. 4 Japan’s trade rose 0.33 percent to $218 billion. Exports fell 0.42 percent to $75 billion. Imports rose 0.73 percent to $144 billion.
  • No. 5 Germany’s trade rose 2.29 percent to $188 billion. Exports rose 4.58 percent to $60 billion. Imports rose 1.24 percent to $127 billion.

The nation’s top five trading partners through December accounted for 47.11 percent of its trade with the world.

The U.S. had trade surpluses with 129 countries and deficits with 104 in 2019. That compares with 132 surpluses and 101 deficits for all of 2018. The top three surpluses of 2019 were with Hong Kong, $26 billion; The Netherlands, $21 billion; United Arab Emirates, $16 billion. The top three deficits were with China, $346 billion; Mexico, $102 billion; and Japan, $69 billion.

The nation’s top five exports by value through December 2019 were civilian aircraft, parts; gasoline, other fuels; oil; motor vehicles for transporting people; and motor vehicle parts in that order. Those accounted for 22.95 percent of its total outbound trade.

The value of the nation’s top five imports through December 2019 were motor vehicles for transporting people; oil; cell phones, related equipment; computers; and returned exports, without change. They accounted for 23.24 percent of all inbound shipments.

Looking more closely at U.S. exports:

  • No. 1 Civilian aircraft, parts fell 3.75 percent compared to last year, to $125 billion.
  • No. 2 Gasoline, other fuels fell 7.12 percent compared to last year, to $88 billion.
  • No. 3 Oil rose 38.42 percent compared to last year, to $65 billion.
  • No. 4 Motor vehicles for transporting people rose 9.18 percent compared to last year, to $56 billion.
  • No. 5 Motor vehicle parts fell 5.53 percent compared to last year, to $43 billion.

On the import side:

  • No. 1 Motor vehicles for transporting people rose 1.09 percent compared to last year, to $177 billion.
  • No. 2 Oil fell 19.36 percent compared to last year, to $127 billion.
  • No. 3 Cell phones, related equipment fell 8.33 percent compared to last year, to $100 billion.
  • No. 4 Computers fell 2.71 percent compared to last year, to $90 billion.
  • No. 5 Returned exports, without change rose 14.69 percent compared to last year, to $86 billion.