Thursday, May 10, 2012

No -- Really -- The US Actually Exports A Lot

One of the greater canards that floats around the internet is that the US is not an exporter, or that we don't make things here, or that, in general, the US is experiencing a general manufacturing and export malaise or decline.  That's not the case.  First, consider this chart of total US exports:

Total US exports are actually at higher levels now than before the recession and have been in a clear uptrend (with the exception of recessions) for the last 40 years.  Let's take a closer look at the data.

The chart above shows the last 5 years of data, and we see clearly that exports have overtaken previous levels and are now near all time highs.

And here are two charts which show what we export:

Here is a list of the information in graphic form:

Civilian aircraft, engines, equipment, and parts                                     80,172,454,470.00
Petroleum products, other                                     54,237,010,317.00
Fuel oil                                     52,800,539,232.00
Other parts and accessories of vehicles                                     47,365,339,805.00
Passenger cars, new and used                                     47,354,593,365.00
Pharmaceutical preparations                                     45,468,815,842.00
Industrial machines, other                                     45,246,225,629.00
Semiconductors                                     43,773,152,276.00
Chemicals-organic                                     39,419,030,345.00
Plastic materials                                     36,025,994,150.00
Telecommunications equipment                                     35,849,294,688.00
Electric apparatus                                     35,118,902,366.00
Nonmonetary gold                                     33,228,280,326.00
Medicinal equipment                                     32,041,186,500.00
Computer accessories                                     31,567,258,172.00
Minimum value shipments                                     30,028,425,150.00
Chemicals-other                                     28,783,602,478.00
Industrial engines                                     28,102,493,451.00
Measuring, testing, control instruments                                     23,742,788,374.00
Other industrial supplies                                     22,985,042,545.00

And here's a graph from the Census Bureau that breaks the information down into larger categories for both imports and exports: