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Key Economic Trends

  • In 2008, the U.S. trade deficit in electronic products decreased for the first time in seven years, by $3.7 billion (2 percent) to $176.8 billion. The global economic crisis weakened consumer demand for high-technology goods, resulting in sluggish export growth and a decline in imports.
  • U.S. exports of electronic goods (principally parts) to China increased significantly, as exports to other major markets declined, primarily because production centers continued to move from countries like Taiwan and Japan to factories in China. Medical goods and measuring, testing, and controlling equipment registered the largest export increases.
  • U.S. imports of electronic goods from its largest suppliers, Asia and Latin America, declined by a combined total of $4 billion in 2008. Product sectors that registered the largest declines were computer equipment, consumer electronics, and semiconductors; these declines outweighed significant increases in imports of telecommunications equipment and medical goods.

Trade Shifts in 2008 from 2007

  • U.S. trade deficit: Decreased by $3.7 billion (2 percent) to $176.8 billion
  • U.S. exports: Increased by $2.3 billion (1 percent) to $174.8 billion
  • U.S. imports: Decreased by $1.4 billion (0.4 percent) to $351.6 billion

Selected Product Shifts

Other Government Resources

U.S. Department of Commerce (USDOC), National Institute of Standards and Technology

USDOC, International Trade Administration, Medical and Dental Equipment

U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center for Devices and Radiological Health

Other Resources

The Telecommunications Industry Association