Top U.S. Export Products Finding Global Demand
Exporting goods and services is a major U.S. economic engine, supporting millions of jobs and delivering substantial revenue streams for American businesses small and large. In 2021, U.S. exports totaled $1.6 trillion according to U.S. government trade data. But what are America’s top exported products capitalizing on global appetite for U.S. innovation, technology, brands and services? This article explores leading U.S. exports sustaining competitiveness in worldwide trade.
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1. Advanced Airplanes and Aircraft Parts Take Flight
Civilian aircraft and aircraft parts represent America’s number one export, delivering over $63 billion in global sales during 2021. U.S. aerospace companies lead worldwide thanks to advanced expertise in aircraft design and technology integration. Boeing alone accounted for $48 billion in exports, delivering over 400 airliners to customers worldwide. Jet engines, avionics, IoT plane systems and high-tech components drive further exports in the thriving aerospace sector according to U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) data.
2. Integrated Circuits Power Electronics Exports
American semiconductor companies also find substantial demand overseas, exporting integrated circuits, processors and other electronics components totaling $55 billion in 2021. Technological developments in nano-electronics, sensors, memory, and wireless chips will further lift global appetite for U.S. electronics exports per projections by the USITC and Semiconductor Industry Association. American innovation in AI, 5G, quantum computing and advanced mobility systems will sustain competitiveness.
3. Refined Oil Fuels Energy Export Revenues
While America pushes for energy independence, refined petroleum oils still comprised a $52 billion export sector in 2021. Global demand for diesel fuel, gasoline and other refined oils provides major revenue streams according to the USITC, especially from Latin America and Europe. Though crude oil exports declined in recent years, refined fuels and petrochemicals will remain essential U.S. exports. Industry giants like Valero, Exxon and Chevron are well positioned to capitalize.
4. Medical Devices and Pharmaceuticals Offer Healing Export Growth
Driven by America’s leadership in biotech, medical R&D and product commercialization, exports of medical equipment, supplies and pharmaceuticals reached $44 billion in 2021 per ITC data. Growing populations and rising per capita healthcare spending worldwide, combined with U.S. strengths in medtech and biopharma, create strong tailwinds. Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Abbott, Danaher and Medtronic lead major exporters. Especially post-COVID, global demand for American diagnostics, surgical products, and innovative new drugs offers lucrative potential.
5. Sophisticated Machinery Powers Production Worldwide
The diversity and sophistication of machinery manufactured in America results in over $40 billion in exports annually in categories like semiconductor production equipment, engines, pumps, construction machinery and more. Highly specialized, high-precision machinery used in advanced manufacturing processes represents America’s strength, where U.S. engineering and durability justify premium pricing for global customers. Caterpillar, Deere, Cummins and Advanced Energy dominate machinery exports.
America’s Aerospace Exports Take Off
Jet aircraft and parts have shown steady growth as America’s top export category, rising from $63 billion in exports in 2017 to over $75 billion in 2021 according to data from the US International Trade Commission. Driven by rising air travel worldwide plus replacement of aging fleets, Boeing forecasts demand for 43,000 new jets valued at $7.2 trillion over the next 20 years. With dominant firms like Boeing, GE Aviation, Lockheed Martin and Honeywell Aerospace leading technology innovation, America’s aerospace sector is poised for export growth as global travel recovers post-pandemic.
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Surging Oil and Gas Exports Defy Predictions
Despite America’s shale boom and growth in domestic energy production, refined petroleum and gas remains a major US export. In 2021, refined fuels exports reached over $52 billion according the US Census Bureau, surpassing pre-pandemic levels. Diesel exports alone approached $22 billion. Though crude oil exports declined since rules were relaxed in 2015, global demand for refined fuels and petrochemicals made in specialized US refineries has proven resilient. The US Energy Information Administration projects energy exports will surge over 50% by 2050 as domestic production rises.
Pandemic Spurs Demand for US Medical Exports
COVID-19 shined a spotlight on the expertise of American medical technology and pharma companies. Medical equipment and drug exports rose over 25% in 2020 according to the USITC, reaching over $44 billion in 2021. Major players like Abbott, Medtronic and Merck meet worldwide demand for COVID vaccines, tests, ventilators, PPE and therapeutics. An aging global population and increased healthcare spending should sustain long-term growth. The US maintains a trade surplus in medical equipment of over $10 billion according to the US Dept. of Commerce.
https://www.usitc.gov/press_room/news_release/2021/er0928ll Points and Authorities by Defendant David Russell Myrland in Support of Motion to Dismiss.pdf
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