Recent Trends in U.S. Services Trade, 2010 Annual Report

Publication Type: 
Industry & Econ Analysis (332)
Publication Topic: 
Service Industries
Publication Number: 
Investigation No.: 
Recent Trends in U.S. Services Trade, 2010 Annual Report


The United States remained the world's largest services market and also the world's leading exporter and importer of services in 2008, reports the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) in its annual review of U.S. trade in services.

This year's report focuses primarily on infrastructure services and includes separate chapters on the competitive conditions and recent trade performance of the banking, electricity, insurance, retail, securities, and telecommunication services sectors, as well as the impact on these industries of the global economic downturn.

The 2010 report covers trade in services from 2003 through 2008. Highlights include:

  • The United States continues to have the largest services trade surplus of any country in the world, and infrastructure services play a significant role in U.S. services trade.

  • Services supplied abroad by foreign affiliates of U.S. firms continue to exceed services supplied by foreign-owned affiliates in the United States. Infrastructure services accounted for over half of services supplied in 2007, both by foreign affiliates of U.S. firms and by foreign-owned U.S. affiliates.

  • In 2008, U.S. infrastructure services contributed $3.8 trillion, or 37 percent, to U.S. private-sector GDP. U.S. infrastructure service workers earned average wages higher than those earned by workers in the U.S. private sector as a whole and had higher average labor productivity (or output per employee) than that of the overall private sector.

  • The financial crisis and global economic downturn, which began in 2007, affected the operations of most infrastructure services to some degree, particularly the banking and securities industries.

  • The USITC’s third annual services roundtable, which was held on December 2, 2009, and is summarized in the report, focused on the impact of services trade liberalization on employment.

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