Commodity Spotlight: U.S. Military Exports

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By: Chuck Avery

One interesting aspect of U.S. trade is the export of military goods.* This trade increased over the last decade from $8.3 billion in 2002 to a peak value of $18.8 billion in 2012. Note that this does not include shipments to the U.S. military overseas. Most U.S. exports of military goods went to Asia, primarily Japan and South Korea.

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Source: USA Trade Online

Last year, 70% of U.S. exports of military goods were related to military aircraft—fighter jets, helicopters, engines, launching gear, and above all, aircraft parts. In fact, at 35% of all U.S. military exports in 2012, the export value for military aircraft parts exceeded the export value for intact aircraft.

The large portion of spare parts in U.S. military exports is one surprise. Another is that if aircraft-related exports are excluded, the biggest U.S. military export is guided missiles.** Nearly $1.2 billion in guided missiles left the U.S. in 2012. This total was topped in the first three months of 2013, with $1.4 billion sent abroad, most of it exported to the United Arab Emirates and Taiwan.

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Source: USA Trade Online

Want to know more about U.S. exports of military goods? Check out USA Trade Online for more detailed information.

*Military goods are those classified under end-use code 50, for “military-type goods.” See the exports concordance for a complete list.

**As classified by ten-digit Schedule B commodity classification for 2012 exports. In this case the ten-digit Schedule B for guided missiles is 9306900020.

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