Trends in Foreign Trade

What are the major components of international trade for the United States? Table 15-1 shows the commodity composition of U.S. foreign trade for 1999. These data reveal that despite being an advanced industrial economy, the United States exports surprisingly large amounts of primary commodities (such as food) and imports large quantities of sophisticated, capital-intensive manufactured goods (like automobiles and telecommunications equipment).

Moreover, we find a great deal of two-way or intra industry, trade. Within a particular industry, the United States both exports and imports at the same lime a high degree of product differentiation means that different countries tend to have niches in different parts of a market.

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