The Top 5 Largest U.S. Foreign Trading Partners

  U.S. Trading Partner Imports & Exports 2012 % of Total U.S. Trade
1 Canada $616.7 billion 16.1%
2 China $536.2 billion 14.0%
3 Mexico $494.0 billion 12.9%
4 Japan $216.4 billion 5.7%
5 Germany $157.3 billion 4.1%
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 Facts
  1. Contrary to what average Americans believe, Canada is by far the largest and most important trading partner with the U.S. The United States and Canada conduct the world’s largest bilateral trade relationship, with total merchandise trade (exports and imports) exceeding $600 billion dollars in 2012. Goods exports totaled $292 billion; Goods imports totalled $324 billion. The U.S. goods trade deficit with Canada was $32 billion in 2012. (a.)
  2. U.S.-China economic ties have expanded substantially over the past three decades. Total U.S.-China trade rose from $5 billion in 1981 to $536 billion in 2012, and is projected to reach $558 billion in 2013. China is currently the United States’ second-largest trading partner, its third largest export market, and its biggest source of imports. (b.)
  3. China is estimated to be a $300 billion market for U.S. firms (based on U.S. exports to China and sales by U.S.-invested firms in China). Many U.S. firms view participation in China’s market as critical to staying globally competitive. General Motors (GM), for example, which has invested heavily in China, sold more cars in China than in the United States from 2010 to 2012. (b.)
  4. Mexico is currently the United States 3rd largest goods trading partner with $494 billion in total (two ways) goods trade during 2012. Goods exports totaled $216 billion; Goods imports totaled $278 billion. The U.S. goods trade deficit with Mexico was $61 billion in 2012. (c.)
  5. Japan is a major market for many U.S. products, including chemicals, pharmaceuticals, films and music, commercial aircraft, nonferrous metals, plastics, and medical and scientific supplies.
  6. Top 5 facts sources:
    1. CRS Report for Congress. (2012). "Canada-U.S. Trade
    2. CRS Report for Congress. (2012). "China-U.S. Trade Issues"
    3. Office of the United States Trade Representative. (2012). "U.S.-Mexico Trade Facts."
Tags: Business, Finance & Industry, Top 5 Largest, China, The United States, Canada

Sources:  U.S. Census Bureau (2012). "Top Trading Partners".
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List Notes: Data is Top 5 largest trading partners with the United States in imports & exports for the year 2012 in U.S. dollars.
Largest U.S. Foreign Trading Partners

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