The annual Shifts in U.S. Merchandise Trade report (Trade Shifts) examines trends in merchandise exports and imports using data for more than 250 major industry sectors and subsectors identified by the U.S. International Trade Commission (the USITC or Commission). The report contains analysis by international trade analysts in the Commission's Office of Industries, who routinely monitor trade developments in all natural resource, agricultural, and manufacturing industries.
Unlike previous Trade Shifts reports, this year's edition is exclusively available online in both an HTML format and a PDF. The HTML version provides charts that link directly to summary tables, which reveal the important shifts in U.S. bilateral trade, highlight leading changes in industry sectors for each of the trading partners discussed, and identify the shifts in various subsectors that influenced overall sector trade in 2012. The PDF version of this section provides the summary tables as part of the text, along with the charts. The report is divided into four parts:
Part I: U.S. Merchandise Trade and Overall Economic Performance analyzes the overall economic performance of nine U.S. merchandise trade sectors from 2011 to 2012. The discussions of the individual merchandise sectors include data showing changes in U.S. exports, imports, and trade balances broken down by sectors, industry groups (and in some cases subsectors), and U.S. trading partners.
Part II: Bilateral Trade examines the shifts in U.S. trade with five significant U.S. trade partners—China, the European Union 27 (EU), Japan, Mexico, and Russia. Countries were included based on the volume of bilateral trade conducted with the United States and/or the relative magnitude of bilateral trade shifts in 2012. Russia, which is not a leading U.S. trading partner, was selected for this study because of the large increase in its trade with the United States during 2012. In addition to being leading trading partners of the United States, Japan and the EU both registered relatively significant trade shifts in the U.S. merchandise trade balance in 2012. Russia, which is not a leading U.S. trading partner, was selected for this study because of the large increase in its trade with the United States during 2012.
Part III: Commodities Trade surveys nine merchandise sectors, pointing out significant shifts in trade within each sector, and lists the absolute and percentage changes in bilateral trade revealed by a year-on-year comparison of 2011 and 2012. The sectors addressed in this report are agricultural products; chemicals and related products; electronic products; energy-related products; forest products; machinery; minerals and metals; textiles, apparel, and footwear; and transportation equipment.
Part IV: Special Topics Chapter examines U.S. import shifts during 2008–12 under various trade preference programs, including the African Growth and Opportunity Act, Andean Trade Preference Act, Caribbean Basin Initiative, and the Generalized System of Preferences. Specifically, it considers fluctuations in the share of imports from eligible countries receiving preferential treatment; shifts in the composition of merchandise imported under the provisions; and changes in eligibility and other factors affecting the use of the programs.
Part II: Country Shifts
This part of the report analyzes shifts in trade between the United States and five significant trading partners (based on total trade, significant shifts in trade during 2011-12, or both) -- China, the EU, Japan, Mexico, and Russia.
Part III: Sector Shifts
Agricultural Products :: Chemicals and Related Products :: Electronic Products :: Energy and Related Products :: Forest Products ::Machinery :: Minerals and Metals :: Textiles, Apparel, and Footwear :: Transportation Equipment
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why is this information prepared?
- How is this information organized?
- What trade statistics are used?
- Why are your data different from other trade data?
- What are sectors?
- What are special provision exports and imports?
- Which 8-digit HTS subheadings are included in each?
- How are country groups defined?
- What do the trade abbreviations and acronyms mean?