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Top Trading Partners of US


Top Trading Partners of US: Beyond China – 5 Emerging Markets to Watch

Blog / Industry Leaders Blog

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Did you know that in 2023, the United States traded with over 230 countries, but just five of them accounted for nearly 50% of the total US trade? Interesting, isn’t it? However, who are the top trading partners of the US? And why are they so important to the US economy?

Beyond China’s well-known economic powerhouse, these rising markets are quickly changing the face of global trade. Thus, you’ll discover opportunities, international trade, overcome difficulties, and the alliances that are changing the world.

In this blog, we’ll explore the major industries and vibrant economies – India, Mexico, Vietnam, Brazil, and Indonesia. Let’s begin!

1.  Mexico

  • Trade value: $799 billion
  • Major industries: Machinery and Mechanical Appliances, Mineral, Electronics

At 55% of all exports, the United States is Mexico’s greatest export market, and this has only grown bigger over the years. It continues to be the most important ally of the US because of its shared territory, history, and strong cultural and interpersonal ties.

Mexico, among the top trading partners of US, is a key market for U.S. automotive products, contributing 3.5% to its GDP. Mexico manufactures over three million vehicles annually, 90% of which are for export, and 76% go to the U.S.

The major automakers including Audi, BMW, Ford, and others are exported from Mexico. Whereas, parts necessary for the manufacture of automobiles, like engines, gearboxes, and electronics are exported from the United States.

Besides that, another key aspect of the vibrant commercial relationship between the two nations is the agricultural sector. It exports products such as fruits, vegetables, drinks, distilled spirits, and other perishable goods. Likewise, the United States exports grains, oil seeds, and more.

2.  Vietnam

  • Trade value: $142.1 billion
  • Major industries: Cotton, Machinery, Textile and Garment 

Vietnam and the United States upgraded their bilateral ties to a full strategic alliance. Its decision indicated greater cooperation in trade, business, science, and technology along with stronger political and diplomatic ties. 

Additionally, Vietnam is among the emerging top trading partners of US, expanding its allies and powers with the Americans. The two countries share the objective of pursuing an open, interconnected, economic, resilient, and peaceful Indo-Pacific strategy.

In April 2024, Vietnam’s goods imports and exports totaled $61.20 billion, a 15% rise from the same time in 2023. This growth is largely driven by Vietnam’s burgeoning manufacturing sector, particularly in areas like consumer electronics. 

Besides that, the textile and garment industry also contributes significantly, making Vietnam the second-largest source of US clothing imports. Also, the US, in turn, exports commodities like cotton and semiconductors to Vietnam.

3. India

  • Trade value: $128.55 billion
  • Major industries: Petroleum, Diamonds, Liquified Natural Gas (LNG)

India ranked among the top trading partners of US, imported $3.14 billion from the US, and exported $7.17 billion in February 2024. The two nations have an interest in trade, investment, and connectivity to advance international security, stability, and economic success.

Since both countries export petroleum products to one another, the petroleum industry also plays a significant role. India is furthermore committed to keeping up programs and building a large talent pool.

Recent major exports to the United States include leather goods, machinery and equipment, organic chemicals, electronic devices, and more. Similarly, the United States exports a wide range of goods, such as petroleum products, pearls, electric machinery, and more.

Additionally, about half of India’s total diamond exports go to the United States. India exported cut and polished diamonds for a total of Rs 98,638.48 crore in the first nine months of 2023-24.

4. Brazil

  • Trade value: $120.7 billion
  • Major industries: Oils, Minerals, Lime,  Chemicals

Brazil became one of the United States’ main non-NATO allies. They have a long history of fostering people-to-people connections and investments in the fields of science, technology, energy, sports, education, and more. 

Products related to industry and energy, such as aircraft, medical equipment, fertilizers, natural gas, and refined petroleum, are Brazil’s top imports from the United States. Similarly, Brazil’s exports to the US include wood pulp, iron and steel, airplanes, crude oil, and coffee.

Besides that, Brazilian exports sustain over 500,000 employees to the Americans, whereas the United States private sector indicates that it exports approximately 130,000 jobs.

Currently, the US offers financial and technical support through several channels, such as USAID programs, the U.S.-Brazil Energy Forum, and many discussions centered around the shift to clean energy. Thus, Brazil ranks among the top trading partners of US.

5. Indonesia

  • Trade value: $47.5 billion
  • Major industries: Aircraft, Petroleum, Rubber and Crustaceans 

Recently, the United States and Indonesia jointly marked the 75th anniversary of their diplomatic ties by announcing their anniversary logo and theme, “Diversity, Democracy, Prosperity.” which shows the two nations’ vibrant trade relationship for decades.

Furthermore, the United States’ biggest exports to Indonesia in February 2024, include Commerce Petroleum gas, soybeans, crude petroleum, acyclic hydrocarbons, and aircraft parts. The total US exports came to US$19.31 billion, while US imports came to $18.44 billion whereas, Indonesia’s export value was US$19.31 billion, down 5.79 percent from January 2024.

They also continue to work closely together to achieve economic reform goals, like improving the climate for investment and lowering trade obstacles like trade restrictions, insufficient facilities, and inconsistently administered regulations.

Recently, the two countries have focused on critical minerals and clean energy and built a more ambitious alliance. Consequently, Indonesia has proposed the idea of a “Limited Free Trade Deal,” like the U.S. and Japan countries.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, we explored the top trading partners of US and learned the diversity of international trade. Thus, these emerging markets are playing an increasingly significant role in shaping the global economy.

Above all, trading between countries will always be interesting and unpredictable. Thus, we’ve concluded with a few questions for you.

  • How will these commercial ties change as the geopolitical context shifts?
  • When these markets develop and evolve further, what new opportunities and difficulties will present themselves?
  • Most importantly, how will the United States and these developing economies utilize their trade alliances to promote reciprocal expansion, durability, and affluence?

Let’s reason the above questions together. Thanks for reading!

Singam Horam

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