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International statistics

International statistics

IN FOCUS / 2017-03-01

China, Mexico, Canada and Japan main US trading partners

Since the inauguration of US-President Trump, numerous steps have signaled a shift in United States trade policy. The US govern­ment has ex­pressed their intent to rene­gotiate the North American Free Trade Agree­ment (NAFTA). In January, the United States pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agree­ment. Further­more, the Trump admini­stra­tion is consider­ing the intro­duc­tion of puni­tive tariffs on goods imported from China.

The envisaged realign­ment of US trade policy is set to have a signi­fi­cant impact on the four most impor­tant US trading part­ners – China, Canada, Mexico and Japan. Accord­ing to United Nations data, approx­imate­ly 53% of all US imports in 2016 origin­ated from, and 47% of all US exports were destined for these four countries.

Compared to other G7 states, the trade open­ness of the US economy is relatively low: Accord­ing to the World Trade Organization (WTO) the US merchan­dise trade-to-GDP ratio amounted to 21% in 2015. By contrast, in Ger­many the trade-to-GDP ratio was as high as 71%. Other major US trading part­ners also had con­sider­ably higher ratios. In 2015, Mexico had an ratio of 69% of GDP, Canada 55%, China 36% and Japan 29%.



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