Topic: Ten Export Business Markets


Best export Market

Here’s a look at the exporting facts related to top ten export trading partners this year to date through April 2016, according to the United States Census Bureau. All numbers shown are in billions of dollars and reflect exports from the United States to a specific country. The data are for goods only.

 1.  Canada

More than $176.7 billion worth of US goods were traded with Canada year to date April 2016, and the total exports from the United States year to date equal $87 billion (18.6 percent of export trade). Given its closeness in geographic proximity, the similarity in business cultures, and the  North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canada offers excellent business opportunities for qualified US firms, especially those operating in such key sectors as aerospace, energy, travel, tourism, automotive, and government procurement.

 2.  Mexico

The total exports from the United States to Mexico so far this year are $75 billion (16.1 percent of export trade). Mexico was the second-largest goods  export market for the United States in 2016. This is in part based on the  North American Free Trade Agreement ( NAFTA ), which has fueled international trade activity between the United States, Canada, and Mexico due to the elimination of duties and other trade restrictions. In 2016, according to the latest data available, $170.5 billion worth of US goods alone were traded with  Mexico .

According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, the top export categories for Mexico in 2015 were machinery, electrical machinery, mineral fuel and oil, vehicles, and plastic. Mexico ranks as the third largest US agricultural export market, reaching $18 billion for that year. The leading export categories are corn, coarse grains, pork and pork products, beef and beef products, soybeans, and dairy products. U.S. exports of services to Mexico were an estimated $30.8 billion in 2015. Travel, intellectual property (computer software), and financial services, as well as the travel industry, accounted for most of US services exports to  Mexico.

 3.  China

The total e xports  from the United States to China year to date 2016 are $33.9 billion (7.3 percent of export trade). Trading with China—the more than

1.3 billion-person Goliath—strengthens our economy and at the same time creates jobs for American workers. As reported by, “China is currently our largest goods trading partner with $598 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2015. Goods exports totaled $116 billion; goods imports totaled $482 billion.” Opportunities abound for businesses of all sizes in China. You don’t have to look far. The following Web sites, organizations, and programs provide valuable information for doing business with China:

  • Commercial Service China : ( china/ ). Every year, this site analyzes the best opportunities for exports from the United States to China—from education and training to automotive components markets and travel and tourism.
  • AccessAmerica : (   / accessamerica/index.asp ). This program promotes the services of US-based firms to customers and investors in China, giving access and exposure to Chinese clients seeking US expertise in trade finance, branding, legal, insurance, and other needs.
  • : ( Have a look at the only Web site authorized by the General Administration of Customs of P. R. China (GACC) to provide comprehensive Chinese customs information in


  • The National Bureaus of Statistics of China :   (http:// . This organization is the authoritative source of trade statistics collected by the Chinese government.
  • The Sinocism China Newsletter(    m ).

This free email newsletter helps readers better understand China with commentary and curated links to the important English and Chinese news of the day.

 4.  Japan

The total exports from the United S tates to Japan at this point in 2016 equal $19.7 billion (4.2 percent of export trade). Japan is the world’s third largest economy, after the United States and China. Japan is the fourth largest export market for U.S. goods and services, exporting over $66.5 billion (8 billion yen) worth of goods to Japan in 2015.v The top export categories for Japan are: civilian aircraft engines, equipment, and parts; medicinal equipment; pharmaceutical preparations; meat and poultry; and corn, to name just a few.

Due to Japan’s “silver” market, where in 2014, twenty-six percent of the country’s population is sixty-five years old or older, home care products, nursing homes, and hospital products are very much in demand.

 5. United Kingdom

Exports from the United States to the United Kingdom total $18.4 billion (3.9 percent of export trade) as of this point in 2016. According to the CIA’s 2015 World Factbook , the United Kingdom is a major  international trading power ,  holding the position of the third largest economy in Europe after Germany and France. According to, the United Kingdom has few trade barriers and is the entry market into the European Union for more than forty-three thousand US exporters. However, with the recent news that the UK has removed itself from the European Union, referred to as Brexit, Britain must seek new trade accords with countries around the world. Watch closely for how Brexit pans out in the future and whether trade between the US and the UK is impacted, if at all.

Major export c ategories  for US companies to the United Kingdom include aerospace products; building products and sustainable construction; cyber security; medical equipment; pet products; low-carbon energy and smart grids; and travel & tourism.

6.  Germany

The total exports going from the United States to Germany so far in 2016 are $16.3 billion (3.5 percent of export trade). Germany is considered the largest market in the European Union for American exporters. It is the largest European trading partner of the United States and is the fifth largest market for U.S. exports for 2015. Further, Germany is the largest consumer market in the European Union, with a population of 81.3 million in 2015. U.S. exports to Germany in 2015 were $49.9 billion.

The primary US export and import commoditites to Germany (the latest available data is from 2013) are: apparel, chemical goods, electrical equipment, beverages, machinery, and cars and car parts.

 7.  Netherlands

The total exports from the United States to the Netherlands at this point in the year are $13.3 billion (2.8 percent of export trade). The Netherlands is a smart choice to export to because it is considered Europe’s largest port of entry, making the country a gateway to Europe. The Netherlands is an ideal European starting point for new-to-export companies looking for their first European distributor. The United States is the largest foreign investor in the Netherlands, and its largest bilateral trade surplus is with the country.

The Netherlands offers excellent business opportunities for qualified US firms, especially those operating in such key sectors as agriculture (seafood products, food preparations, tree nuts, vegetable oils, and planting seeds) and commercial clean technology; computer and communications equipment; cyber security services; energy; healthcare technology/medical devices; biotechnology; renewable energy; marine supplies and pleasure boats; seaport security equipment and systems; automotive parts and accessories; aerospace; aircraft parts and associated equipment; airport security equipment; and systems and software.

 8.  South Korea

The total exports from the United States to South Korea to this point in the year are $12.7 billion (2.7 percent of export trade). The United States is the third largest exporter worldwide to Korea. US firms are in a stronger competitive situation to sell more made-in-the-USA goods, services, and agricultural products to Korean customers following the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA).

The leading sectors for exports from the United States to Korea include: aerospace, agricultural products, cosmetics, defense, ecommerce, education services, energy (new and renewable), entertainment and media, environmental, medical equipment and devices, semiconductors, and travel and tourism.

 9. Belgium

The total exports being delivered to Belgium year to date from the United States are $11.1 billion (2.4 percent of export trade). Belgium is strategically situated in Europe, and home to many European Union institutions, such as NATO, making it an extremely attractive place to do business. It also enjoys the highest per capita income in Europe. With its major ports (Antwerp is the second largest port in Europe) and excellent logistical infrastructure, a significant portion of bilateral trade either originates in, or is destined for, other countries in Europe. The best prospects for US exports include: aerospace and defense, agricultural products, civil nuclear energy, ecommerce and mcommerce, medical devices, renewal fuels and biomass wood pellets, safety and security, and travel and tourism.

10. Hong Kong

The total exports being delivered to Hong Kong from the United States are $10.8 billion (2.4 percent of export trade). Some reasons the country is good for US exporters are that Hong Kong offers a great base from which to enter China; it has a fairly reliable financial and legal infrastructure; and it has experienced local trilingual (English, Mandarin, and Cantonese) executives and consultants that can be hired, making it easier to establish and conduct business there. More important, “Hong Kong is a  free port  that does not levy any customs tariff and has limited excise duties.”xiii The best prospects for US exports include: electronic components; medical equipment and pharmaceuticals; environmental technologies and services; aviation and airport equipment; transportation infrastructure; environmental technologies; safety and security equipment; financial services; education and training services; travel and tourism services; retail; and consumer goods, such as  packaged food , wine, cosmetics, and toiletries.xiv


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