Top Three Trading Partners for Manufacturers

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The New Top Three Trading Partners for Manufacturers

Posted By : | Date : February 1, 2021

The export sector accounts for roughly 15% of the US GDP – a total of around $3.7 trillion. The US is both a seller of commodities and sophisticated goods as much of US farm output is shipped overseas. The US doesn’t produce much in the way of consumer goods for export – the US manufacturer sells in the business-to-business realm. Traditionally the top three trading partners for the US have been Canada, Mexico and China. Much of that north-south trade is inter-company trade and commodities and much of what China buys is food. Who, then are the buyers of manufactured goods?

1) United Kingdom – For the past decade the UK has been the seventh-largest trading partner for the US but it is expected they will be moving up a step or two and may become top tier in terms of buying US-manufactured output. Very simply, the British have lost much of the European market as they pull out of Brexit and they will focus on the US. There have already been major investments into the US by British companies seeking new markets and there has been an uptick in demand for US manufactured goods (a 34% increase in the last year)

2) Vietnam – Vietnam has been in the top ten as a trading partner but much of this was in the agricultural sector. The nation that has taken the majority of the business that has left China in the past year has been Vietnam. There has been a 65% increase in US imports from Vietnam and a 54% increase in exports as Vietnam works to meet demand. They are buying machinery and frantically trying to expand their ability to produce power. They are in a mad dash to improve infrastructure and need US equipment do so.

3) Ireland – Ireland has been the number 12 trading partner but will likely move up. They remain a member of the EU but that trade route is now far more complex with the UK withdrawal. There was significant investment in Northern Ireland over the last two decades but that is doing Ireland less good than in the past. Ireland is actively seeking closer Atlantic ties and have targeted both the US and Canada as prime partners. The industrial expansion was shifting towards the north but the plan now is to encourage more industrial growth in Ireland itself.

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