Canada, Mexico and China were the top importers of goods from the United States in the first half of 2023, according to Census Bureau data.
Canadian imports rose 0.5% to $177.764 billion, followed by Mexico’s imports, which were unchanged year-over-year at $160.552 billion, and China’s imports, which rose 1.1% to $72.589 billion.
Despite its declining contribution to GDP, manufacturing remains the leading export sector of the U.S. economy, accounting for almost 55% of all exports.
According to World Trade Organization (WTO) data, the fastest growing manufacturing exports over the past four years were petroleum gases, electronic integrated circuits and immunological products.
Durable goods manufacturing was significantly affected by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, which also affected other industries.
Pharmaceutical manufacturers engaged in developing Covid-19 vaccines and related products received government assistance, as authorities aimed to accelerate domestic production of drugs, personal protective equipment, critical supplies, finished drugs, and other finished devices.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the manufacturing sector, which are an important source of employment opportunities, also benefited from assistance to counter the effects of the pandemic.
In the first half of 2023, exports of goods from the United States totaled $1.005.237 billion, down 0.8% year-over-year.
Other relevant importers of U.S. products were the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Brazil and Singapore.
In 2022, according to ECLAC, inflation in the United States began in goods affected by supply chain problems, but as supply chain pressures eased, prices of services rose.
Tensions in U.S. supply chains eased last year – as transportation costs and raw material prices fell, inventories grew and consumer spending shifted from goods to services – and the appreciation of the dollar, which makes goods exports more expensive, weighed on the growth of commodity prices.