Mexico leads the list of the largest food exporters to the United States, with an 18% share, according to data from the US International Trade Commission ().
Other major food exporters were: the European Union (17.2% of participation), Canada (16.9%), China (5%) and Chile (3.4%), with data from 2018.
According to an analysis by the US Congress, high-profile foodborne incidents and outbreaks involving imported foods have raised growing concerns about whether current federal programs sufficiently guarantee the safety of these imports.
Security issues have been associated with products imported from China, Mexico, and countries in Central and South America, Southeast Asia, Europe, and elsewhere.
Imports of fish and shellfish, fruits and vegetables, and pet food are among those that have been associated with outbreaks and food-borne incidents.
According to the same analysis, it is not clear if imported foods pose a greater security risk than locally produced foods. The available data on foodborne illness outbreak investigations do not readily identify whether the food is of domestic or foreign origin.
Leading Food Exporting Countries to the United States, 2018
The subsequent largest food exporters to the United States were: India (with a 3.1% share), Indonesia (2.8%), Vietnam (2.5%), Brazil (2.5%), and Thailand (2.4 percent).
The analysis adds that a steady increase in the volume of food imports, as a result of globalization and consumers’ desire for a wider variety of foods throughout the year, complicates efforts to ensure the safety of imported food and strains that are already challenging for the US food inspection and supervision services.
Overall, imported foods account for about a fifth of all food consumed in the United States, but an even higher proportion for some foods, such as fish and seafood, and fruit and vegetable products.
The main food exporters ship to the United States from fruits and vegetables to wines, cereals, coffee, prepared foods and beverages.