Changes in 2019 from 2018:
- U.S. total exports of machinery decreased by $6.0 billion (4.2 percent) to $137.4 billion.
- U.S. general imports of machinery decreased by $1.6 billion (0.7 percent) to $212.8 billion.
U.S. total exports of machinery fell from 2018 to 2019, declining by $6.0 billion (4.2 percent) to $137.4 billion (table MT.1). This was a departure from the previous two years; exports had increased by $7.9 billion (6.1 percent) and $7.2 billion (5.3 percent) in 2017 and 2018, respectively. U.S. imports of machinery decreased by $1.6 billion (0.7 percent) in 2019 (table MT.2). U.S. imports followed the same trends as U.S. total exports, since they saw increases for 2017 and 2018 of $16.6 billion (9.2 percent) and $18.4 billion (9.4 percent), respectively.
Canada, Mexico, and China continued to be the top three destinations for U.S. domestic exports of machinery, accounting for more than 40 percent of domestic exports in 2019. U.S. domestic exports to Taiwan fluctuated during 2015–19, ending the period $551 million (11.5 percent) higher in 2019 than in 2015; they increased from 2018 to 2019 by $1.1 billion (26.7 percent). Exports to South Korea posted the largest absolute change from 2018 to 2019, decreasing by $1.4 billion (20.4 percent). Those to Japan and Mexico followed, falling by $1.2 billion (19.5 percent) and $947 million (5.2 percent) from 2018 to 2019, respectively.
The semiconductor manufacturing equipment (MT019), farm and garden equipment (MT009), and air-conditioning equipment and parts (MT002) segments drove the decrease in U.S. domestic exports between 2018 and 2019. U.S. domestic exports of semiconductor manufacturing equipment (MT019) saw the biggest decline by far, decreasing by $3.0 billion (13.1 percent), followed by farm and garden equipment (MT009), down $697 million (6.8 percent), and air-conditioning equipment and parts (MT002), down $398 million (5.0 percent). South Korea and Japan accounted for nearly two-thirds of the decline in U.S. domestic exports of semiconductor manufacturing equipment (MT019).
China, Mexico, and Japan were the top three suppliers of U.S. imports of machinery in 2019, together accounting for half of U.S. imports. U.S. imports from China, the largest supplier throughout the most recent five-year period, declined by $8.8 billion (14.8 percent) between 2018 and 2019. Increased U.S. imports from several sources, including Japan, Mexico, and Canada, offset much of the decline in imports from China. U.S. imports from Japan increased by $1.7 billion (9.0 percent) in 2019, moving it slightly above Germany to become the third leading supplier. Imports from Mexico rose by $1.1 billion (3.4 percent) to $34.8 billion in 2019, and those from Canada increased by $489 million (3.4 percent) to $15.0 billion.
The slight decline in U.S. imports was led by a drop in imports of taps, cocks, valves, and similar devices (MT020), which decreased by $1.0 billion (6.3 percent), accounting for nearly two-thirds of the net decrease in this sector. U.S. imports of nonautomotive insulated electrical wire and related products (MT0029) and of electric motors, generators, and related equipment (MT0233) also declined, by $553 million (5.7 percent) and $449 million (2.9 percent), respectively. However, increases in U.S. imports of several other products in this sector helped to partially offset these declines. For example, U.S. imports of semiconductor manufacturing equipment and robotics (MT019) rose by $1.6 billion (9.8 percent) in 2019.