Trade Report from U.S. International Trade Commission

Shifts in U.S. Merchandise Trade, 2016 is now available on the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) web site.

The report focuses on changes in U.S. exports and imports with respect to ten sectors (agriculture, footwear, forestry, textiles, electronics, minerals, transport, chemicals, energy, and machinery) and bi-lateral trade with eight trading partners and/or regions (Canada, Mexico, the NAFTA area, China, the European Union, Asia, OPEC, and sub-Saharan Africa).

 

Take Aways for Top U.S Trading Partners in 2016 

European Union (EU) as a regional trading block continues to be the U.S.’s largest merchandise trade (imports + exports) partner accounting for 18.9 percent of total U.S. merchandise trade.

  • EU became the top ranking U.S. export market in 2016, surpassing Canada, which had ranked as the largest export market in 2015.
  • Leading U.S. exports to the EU included civilian aircraft, engines, and parts; medicaments (medicines); blood fractions (e.g., antiserum) and refined petroleum products
  • Leading U.S. imports were passenger motor vehicles, medicaments, blood fractions, refined petroleum products, and parts of turbojets or turbopropellers.
  • The EU was also the United States’ largest trading partner in terms of private services in 2016, accounting for 32.8 percent of total U.S. trade in private services (services exports).

 

China, for the second year in a row China remained the United States’ largest single-country trading partner based on two-way merchandise trade, accounting for 15.9 percent of total U.S. merchandise trade.

  • China was the United States’ fourth-largest single-country trading partner based on two-way services trade of $69.0 billion. U.S. services trade with China continued to increase in 2016, with particularly strong growth in U.S. exports, which resulted in a $4.2 billion increase (to $37.0 billion) in the U.S. services trade surplus with China.
  • S. merchandise trade deficit with China decreased $20.1 billion in 2016, it remained higher than that with any other trading partner.
  • Leading U.S. exports to China in 2016 were civilian aircraft, engines, and parts; soybeans; passenger motor vehicles; processors and controllers; and machines for semiconductor or integrated circuit manufacturing.
  • Leading U.S. imports from China were cellphones; portable computers and tablets; telecommunications equipment; tricycles, scooters, and related toys; and computer parts and accessories.

 

Canada was the United States’ second-largest single-country trading partner after China for the second consecutive year accounting for 14.9 percent of total U.S. merchandise trade with the world.

  • The value of U.S. merchandise trade with Canada fell 5.7 percent to $544.0 billion in 2016, U.S. exports to Canada were $266.0 billion in 2016, while U.S. merchandise imports from Canada were $278.1 billion.
  • Leading U.S. exports to Canada in 2016 included passenger motor vehicles; motor vehicles for goods transport; civilian aircraft, engines, and parts; and light petroleum oils.
  • Top U.S. imports from Canada included crude petroleum, passenger motor vehicles, natural gas, and coniferous sawn wood.
  • Canada remained the second-largest single-country U.S. trading partner for services in 2016, after the United Kingdom. Two-way services trade with Canada fell in 2016 to $83.0 billion, while the U.S. surplus in services narrowed to $24.4 billion, down 10.9 percent from $27.4 billion the year before.

Click here to visit The Florida Scorecard to Learn More About Imports and Exports in Florida.

European Uncertainty

As the Greek crisis approaches conclusion, the overall economic health of the EU comes into question.

While there has been recovery (the Eurozone is growing at an annual rate of 1.3 percent), it has been sporadic.

In the second quarter of the year France and Italy, which account for 40 percent of the Eurozone economy, slumped. Italy, which had only recently emerged from recession, fell back, managing growth of just 0.2 percent.

Unemployment numbers are also troubling:

Unemployment (June 2015)

  • EU 9.6 percent
  • Eurozone 11.1  percent
  • Greece 25.6 percent (April)
  • Spain 22.5 percent
  • Italy 12.7 percent
  • France 10.2 percent
  • Germany 4.7 percent

Source: Eurostat

Other challenges remain.  Germany is doing well but its exports will be impacted by a slowdown in Asia, many new jobs are temporary, unemployment figures remain high, and future energy prices are uncertain.

EuroAreaGDP

What Does This Mean for Florida?

Europe has traditionally been an important source of foreign direct investment to the state.  An uncertain economic future for Europe could lead to more European companies considering expansion or relocation to stronger and more stable economic environments such as Florida.  Further slowdown in Asian economies could also lead to an interest in diversification and the pursuit of other markets which Florida could serve as a point of entry to.

 

LEARN MORE:

Positioning Florida as a strategic and important destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) is a key strategy. This is a strategy identified in the Florida Chamber Foundation’s most recent Trade and Logistics study. To learn more about how the Florida Chamber is work to build Florida’s international relationships, contact Alice Ancona today at aancona@flchamber.com.

Poland: A Nation of Steady Growth

Poland was the only EU nation to avoid recession during the financial crisis and despite a slowdown in 2012-2013 it continues to thrive with the IMF forecasting GDP growth of 3.5 percent for 2015, versus 1.5 percent for the Euro area.

Poland’s relative economic strength is most apparent by its container flows. While containerized trade from Asia to Europe has recently slowed – down 3 percent in the first four months of this year. Poland is registering slight increases. It’s container imports from Asia have significantly outpaced the rest of North Europe in recent years with 12 percent growth (between 2009-2014) which more than twice the rate of the rest of the region.

Poland’s containerized trade is still one-fifth the size as Germany’s, North Europe’s biggest market for Asian goods, but its rapid growth from approximately 3.2 percent in 2009 to 4.4 percent for the year-to-date in 2015 is certainly worth noting.

Poland’s economy is well positioned to outpace the rest of the EU.  Its economy has made significant gains and while its unemployment rate has declined, it still remains at around 8 percent it still has room for growth and a need to invest in its soft and hard infrastructure to take the next evolutionary step.