By: Joe Kafchinski
The U.S. international trade deficit increased to $498 billion in 2010 , as imports increased more than exports. Exports increased 16.6% from 2009 to $1.8 trillion, and imports increased 19.7% to $2.3 trillion.
The increase in exports was driven by a $94 billion increase in exports of industrial supplies and a $55 billion increase in exports of capital goods. The largest export commodity in 2010 was semiconductors ($47.0 billion), followed by pharmaceutical preparations ($46.6 billion) and industrial machines ($42.7 billion). Our largest export trading partner was Canada ($248.8 billion), followed by Mexico ($163.3 billion) and China ($91.9 billion).
The increase in imports was driven by a $139 billion increase in imports of industrial supplies and an $80 billion increase in imports of capital goods. The largest import commodity in 2010 was crude oil ($252.1 billion), followed by passenger cars ($114.9 billion) and other household goods ($68.6 billion; this is the category that includes cellphones). Our largest import trading partner was China ($364.9 billion), followed by Canada ($276.5 billion) and Mexico ($229.7 billion).
For December, the international trade deficit increased to $40.6 billion in, as imports increased more than exports. Exports increased 1.8% from November to $163.0 billion, and imports increased 2.6% to $203.5 billion.
For the third consecutive month, exports to China reached a record-high. The $10.1 billion in exports surpassed November’s $9.5 billion. Combined with a $4.3 billion drop in imports, the trade deficit with China shrunk to $20.7 billion in December.