US Biggest Imports, 7 Surprising Facts

US Biggest Imports, 7 Surprising Facts

7 Surprising Facts About US Biggest Imports in 2022

The United States is the world’s largest importer of goods and services, spending more than $3.3 trillion in 2021. But what are the top US imports and where do they come from? Here are some surprising facts that you may not know about the US trade balance and its major import partners.

Fact 1: Consumer goods are the largest category of US imports

Consumer goods, such as pharmaceuticals, cellphones, household appliances, toys, and clothing, accounted for $776 billion of US imports in 2021, making it the largest category of imported goods. This reflects the high demand for these products among American consumers, as well as the lower production costs in other countries.


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Fact 2: China is the largest provider of foreign goods to the US

China was the source of 16.7% of all US imports as of May 2022, making it the largest exporter to the US market. The US imported $530 billion worth of goods from China in 2021, mainly consisting of computers, telecommunications equipment, furniture, toys, and clothing. The US-China trade relationship is complex and often contentious, as both countries compete for global influence and economic dominance.

Fact 3: Cars are the most valuable single item imported by the US

The US imported $139 billion worth of cars in 2021, making it the most valuable single item imported by the country. The US is a major market for foreign automakers, especially from Japan, Germany, Mexico, Canada, and South Korea. The US also exports cars to other countries, but its trade deficit in this sector is still large.

Fact 4: Crude oil imports have declined significantly in recent years

The US imported $120 billion worth of crude oil in 2021, down from $126 billion in 2020 and $178 billion in 2019. This reflects the increased domestic production of oil and natural gas in the US, as well as the reduced demand for fossil fuels due to the COVID-19 pandemic and environmental concerns. The US is now a net exporter of petroleum products, such as gasoline and diesel.

Fact 5: Pharmaceuticals are the fastest-growing category of US imports

The US imported $149.5 billion worth of pharmaceuticals in 2021, up from $132.4 billion in 2020 and $122.6 billion in 2019. This reflects the high demand for drugs and vaccines in the US, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The US relies heavily on foreign sources for many essential medicines, such as antibiotics, antivirals, and painkillers.

Fact 6: California is the top state importer of foreign goods

California imported $472 billion worth of foreign goods in 2021, making it the top state importer of foreign goods. California is followed by Texas ($368 billion), Illinois ($191 billion), New York ($175 billion), New Jersey ($156 billion), and Georgia ($128 billion). These states are home to major ports, industries, and markets that attract foreign trade.

Fact 7: The US has a large trade deficit with most of its major import partners

The US had a trade deficit of $920 billion in goods and services in 2021, meaning that it imported more than it exported. The US had a trade deficit with most of its major import partners, such as China ($310 billion), Mexico ($114 billion), Germany ($69 billion), Japan ($67 billion), and Canada ($23 billion). The US had a trade surplus with some countries, such as Hong Kong ($32 billion), Australia ($18 billion), and Brazil ($12 billion).


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US Biggest Imports: Trends and Analysis

The United States is the world’s largest importer of goods, importing a total of $3,387.7 billion in 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). This was an increase of $182.4 billion from the previous year, reflecting the recovery of the economy from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. goods and trade deficit also increased 27%, or $182.4 billion, from 2019 to 2020. In this blog post, we will look at some of the top categories and sources of U.S. imports, and how they have changed over time.

Consumer Goods: The Largest Category of Imports

Consumer goods were the largest category of imports to the United States in 2021, accounting for $776 billion, or 22.9% of the total imports. Consumer goods include products such as pharmaceuticals, cellphones, household appliances, toys, and clothing. The top sources of consumer goods imports to the U.S. were China ($211 billion), Mexico ($83 billion), Canada ($54 billion), Germany ($49 billion), and Vietnam ($46 billion).

Consumer goods imports have increased by 8.6% from 2020 to 2021, driven by the increased demand for personal protective equipment (PPE), electronics, and furniture amid the pandemic. However, consumer goods imports have also faced challenges such as supply chain disruptions, shipping delays, and higher costs due to the global shortage of containers, labor, and raw materials.

Capital Goods: The Second-Largest Category of Imports

Capital goods, excluding automotive, were the second-largest category of imports to the United States in 2021, amounting to $761 billion, or 22.5% of the total imports. Capital goods include products such as computers, telecommunications equipment, semiconductors, railway equipment, medical equipment, and civilian aircraft. The top suppliers of capital goods imports to the U.S. were China ($156 billion), Mexico ($116 billion), Canada ($64 billion), Japan ($51 billion), and Germany ($50 billion).

Capital goods imports have increased by 13.4% from 2020 to 2021, reflecting the recovery of business investment and industrial production after the pandemic-induced slowdown. Capital goods imports have also benefited from the increased demand for digital technologies, such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and 5G networks. However, capital goods imports have also faced challenges such as the global semiconductor shortage, which has affected various industries such as automotive, electronics, and aerospace.

Industrial Supplies and Materials: The Third-Largest Category of Imports

Industrial supplies and materials were the third-largest category of imports to the United States in 2021, totaling $650 billion, or 19.2% of the total imports. Industrial supplies and materials include products such as crude oil, petroleum products, industrial chemicals, plastics, metals, and wood products. The top sources of industrial supplies and materials imports to the U.S. were Canada ($101 billion), China ($86 billion), Mexico ($68 billion), Saudi Arabia ($33 billion), and Russia ($31 billion).

Industrial supplies and materials imports have increased by 23% from 2020 to 2021, driven by the rebound in oil prices and demand after the collapse in 2020 due to the pandemic. Industrial supplies and materials imports have also benefited from the increased demand for construction materials, such as lumber and steel, amid the housing boom in the U.S. However, industrial supplies and materials imports have also faced challenges such as higher tariffs on some products from China and other countries due to trade disputes.

The United States is a major importer of goods from around the world, importing a total of $3,387.7 billion in 2021. The top categories of imports were consumer goods ($776 billion), capital goods ($761 billion), and industrial supplies and materials ($650 billion). The top sources of imports were China ($530 billion), Mexico ($361 billion), Canada ($355 billion), Germany ($135 billion), and Japan ($128 billion). U.S. imports have increased by 5.7% from 2020 to 2021, reflecting the recovery of the economy from the pandemic. However, U.S. imports have also faced challenges such as supply chain disruptions, shipping delays, higher costs, trade disputes, and shortages of some products.

References:

http://www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/newsroom/publications/trade/iius.ctt/iius.pdf

https://www.wto.org/english/res_e/booksp_e/tariff_profiles19_e.pdf

https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Importing%20into%20the%20U.S.pdf

https://www.bea.gov/data/intl-trade-investment/international-trade-goods-and-services
https://stats.oecd.org/
https://www.investopedia.com/news/what-are-top-us-imports/

https://www.worldstopexports.com/united-states-top-10-imports/

https://oec.world/en/profile/country/usa/

https://www.investopedia.com/news/what-are-top-us-imports/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_imports_of_the_United_States



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