US Exports in 2017

Dock Ship Container Port Boat Vessel Sea T

Exports in the U.S. have grown from $448bn to $1.55tn during the past 25 years, but which export classes make the most money?

The United States has 248 export categories valued over $1bn, three times greater than a quarter of a century ago.

But besides the stereotypical exports from The States such as corn and cotton, medicines, meat and gold, which are the best export market categories that actually rake in dollars?

Here are the top 5 U.S. exports in 2017:


Aircraft is far and away the largest export category in terms of monetary value from the U.S. – one-third more valuable than the second export on this list .

China follows in second but someway behind. One thing that’s certain is the likes of Boeing wouldn’t enjoy a trade war between the world’s two export powerhouses.


The value of the gas market has increased massively in the last few years, regardless of the clamour from authorities to turn to renewable energy sources and global businesses to be viewed as green.

Last year, gas (including other refined petroleum products) raked in only under $77.5bn whilst Mexico holds 27% market share and Canada 11%.

It’s estimated that this year overseas motor brands will produce more vehicles in the USA compared to U.S. firms will. Last year, a vast majority of those exports entered the Canadian, Mexican and Chinese markets with two U.S. ports exporting over $1b each throughout the year.

Motor Vehicle Parts

Perhaps not surprisingly, among the nations which lead in motor vehicle exports also makes a whole lot of cash exporting individual motor parts. However, the motor industry is wary of potential NAFTA disturbance which could change the face of this auto-exporting industry.

Computer Chips

The first’modern’ export to create the top-5 U.S. export classes is that of computer chips. Given the small size of the export, the majority of the product travel abroad via airfreight – 50% of which from only four airports in Los Angeles, Dallas, San Francisco and Cleveland.

What other products are also leading exports to the U.S.? Food, beverage and feed has been the top value class when combined worth a $133bn. Soybeans made up $22bn of the, with poultry and meat just behind at $18bn.

In terms of services, travel and transport ($136bn), finance and insurance ($76bn) and intellectual property sales ($49bn) accounts for the most.

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