July 11, 2013
News Release 13-065
Inv. No. 332-345
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819
U.S. SERVICE PROVIDERS REMAIN COMPETITIVE IN GLOBAL SERVICES MARKET,
The United States was the world's largest services market and the world's leading exporter and
importer of services in 2011, reports the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) in its
publication Recent Trends in U.S. Services Trade, 2013 Annual Report.
The USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, compiles the report
annually. Each year's report presents a qualitative and quantitative overview of U.S. trade in
services and highlights some of the service sectors and geographic markets that contribute
substantially to recent services trade performance.
This year's report focuses on professional services and includes separate chapters on the
education, healthcare, and legal services sectors. Each chapter analyzes global market conditions
in the sector, examines recent trade performance, and summarizes the sector's outlook.
The 2013 report covers cross-border trade in services through 2011 and affiliate sales through
2010 (latest available data). Highlights of the report include:
- From 2010 to 2011, U.S. cross-border services exports increased by 9 percent (to $587
billion) while U.S. services imports grew by 7 percent (to $393 billion). This represents
the second consecutive year of strong trade growth following the financial crisis.
Professional services accounted for 21 percent of total U.S. cross-border services exports
and 19 percent of cross-border imports in 2011.
- Services supplied abroad by foreign affiliates of U.S. firms continued to exceed services
purchased from U.S. affiliates of foreign firms, reaching $1.1 trillion and $696 billion,
respectively, in 2010. Professional services accounted for a relatively small but growing
share of both sales and purchases of services through affiliates. Architectural and
engineering services accounted for the largest share of professional services supplied by
U.S. foreign affiliates, while advertising services led purchases from U.S. affiliates of
foreign firms in 2010.
- The contribution of U.S. professional services to U.S. GDP in 2011 was $2.2 trillion,
equal to 24 percent of the value added by all services and 19 percent of total private
sector GDP. Professional services value added exceeded all other major services
categories including distribution, financial, and electronic services in 2011. Professional
services value added grew by 3 percent in 2011, faster than the average of all services (2
percent) and more than 3 times the growth of the manufacturing sector (0.8 percent)
during the year. The education, healthcare, and legal services sectors are all projected to
post moderate growth in the next few years.
- Professional services employed 26 million full-time-equivalent employees in 2011, equal
to 26 percent of the total U.S. private sector workforce. Healthcare services accounted for
15 million of these employees. In 2011, labor productivity in professional services grew
by 1 percent while average wages grew by 3 percent (to $60,368), exceeding the private
sector average wage but trailing electronic and financial services. Both productivity and
wages varied widely among professional services industries.
- Professional services are subject to a variety of both entry and operational trade barriers.
In many cases, these barriers take the form of domestic regulations and are byproducts of
a country's domestic policy objectives such as protecting and developing its indigenous
workforce. Such restrictions include economic needs tests and quotas on foreign
providers. Other significant barriers include limits on setting up foreign affiliates and
requirements that managerial staff be either citizens or permanent residents.
- The USITC hosted its sixth annual services roundtable on November 13, 2012. The
discussion, summarized in the report, covered services liberalization and regulation, and
prospects for future services trade agreements.
Recent Trends in U.S. Services Trade, 2013 Annual Report (Investigation No. 332-345, USITC
publication 4412, July 2013) is available on the USITC's Internet site at
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