US imports-exports increase by 16% in 2011; Transatlantic trade well over $600bn

US international trade recovered in 2011 seeing US exports reaching approximately $1.5 tr, up almost 17% from 2010, while imports increased by 16% reaching $2.2tr. Although trade deficit widened in 2011 was well below historical highs. Around 15% of US trade is with the EU which remains one of US’s main trading partners along with China, Mexico, Canada, Japan, South Korea and Brazil. That pattern is expected to persist although growth potential shifts to emerging markets. Ex-Im Bank that provides financial support to US exporters has identified nine key target export markets in emerging large economies, i.e. Brazil, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Turkey and Vietnam.

EU imports reached $1.9tr in 2010 increasing by 25% while exports reached $1.7tr, increasing by 23% according to the latest Eurostat figures. Apart from the US, EU’s external trade concentrates in the European region with countries such as Switzerland, Norway, Turkey as well as Japan and China in Pacific Asia. EU has been adversely affected by the sovereign-debt crisis. This has taken its toll on consumer and investor confidence, affected investment and consumption while fiscal consolidation is restraining domestic demand. These trends are expected to hold for several quarters, tilting growth prospects as well as the outlook for labor market developments to the downside. The first signs of improvements for GDP are projected for the second half of 2012 although this will not affect employment significantly.

At the same time the US economy is also experiencing a long period of slow recovery following the 2008-2009 crisis and subsequent recession. High household debt, subdued real estate prices, high persistent unemployment at 8.5-9% are adversely affecting consumer confidence, household and business spending. FED forecasts GDP growth of 2.5%-2.9% for 2012 and will keep rates unchanged through mid 2013 to support growth. In 2010 total US imports reached $1.9 trillion of which minerals, vehicles, other machinery and chemicals constitute the bulk; 5% is for food imports. Main US trading partners are China (19% of imports), Canada and Mexico (NAFTA partners), Japan, Germany, South Korea, Brazil and Netherlands. At the same time US exports reached $1.3 trillion with major destinations being Canada, Mexico, China, Japan, United Kingdom, Germany, South Korea, Brazil and the Netherlands.

Total bilateral US-EU Transatlantic Trade exceeds $600 bn. US imports from the EU reached $320 bn in 2010 (16.7% of total imports). At the same time US exports reached $340bn, hence a trade deficit of $80 bn. US’s larger EU trade partners are:
• Germany (machinery, vehicles)
• Netherlands (dairy, flowers, chemicals, beverages),
• UK (drugs, chemicals, arts, arms),
• Italy (dairy, olive oil, vinegar, apparel, marble, ceramics, boats, arts)
• Ireland (drugs, essential oils, chemicals)
• France (beverages, dairy, drugs, perfumes, aircrafts, art, vegetable extracts)
US mainly imports nuclear machinery, vehicles, pharmaceuticals, aircrafts, chemicals, minerals and beverages from the EU; foods represent 5 % of imports.

We see continued potential in high value added products when it comes to transatlantic trade. Lower Euro values might help tourism and EU exports across the board, although this shouldn’t be assumed a sustainable trend.

Our Import Promotion Services
The above information is a small part of the information included in an extensive market research we carried out regarding the potential of transatlantic trade with a particular focus in the food sector. Contact us if you would require further information or to purchase certain related publications such as:
• US economic outlook and imports data
–The state of the US economy and outlook (main statistics and commentary)
–US imports (top importers and imported items; imports by EU country)
• US Food Market
–Total size and trends
–Market segmentation (ie frozen food, prepared food, oils, sauces and condiments, cereals, pasta etc)
• Food Retail Channels (New York metropolitan area)
–Main retailers and profiles
–Benchmark and Financial analysis
• Business Regulatory Framework
–Business types and characteristics (C Corp, S Corp, LLC, Partnerships)
–Tax framework (taxes at federal and state level)
–Legal framework (liability protection, employment law, administrative requirements)
• Procedures for Food Imports to the US:
–Customs procedures, Import quotas and Tariffs
–FDA regulatory framework (for food products)

Additionally, capitalizing on our consulting experience in Europe and US, we have now launched import promotion services in the US, for European exporters. We have developed a robust methodology to assist in the successful entry of products to export markets.

Our Import Promotion Methodology

We provide a large array of import promotion services to our clients:

• Go-to-Market Strategy
• Product/Business Plan Preparation
• Marketing Strategy
• Business Matchmaking
• Entrepreneur Coaching
• Capital Raising/Commercial Financing
• Company Establishment
• Business Process Outsourcing
• Cultural Orientation
• Public Relations
• Trade Finance
• Distribution Channel Planning
• Event Planning
• Corporate Branding

We also offer in cooperation with external experts:

• Tax Planning
• Company Formation
• Product Label Design
• Regulatory Framework Compliance
• Import Procedures Clearance.

Finally but not least, we also undertake imports through an affiliated company. We are mainly interested in gourmet food products at this point.

Other sectors that we are interested in, regarding import promotion or trade/investment facilitation, are Business Process Outsourcing, Professional Services Outsourcing, Financial Services, Real Estate, Tourism, Energy and Green Technologies.

For a detailed analysis of our services and publications refer to For more information you may contact Pete Chatziplis at

2 responses to “US imports-exports increase by 16% in 2011; Transatlantic trade well over $600bn

  1. Pingback: Anyone Who Thinks America Doesn’t Make Stuff Anymore Is Dead Wrong | TechKudos

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