The United States is the world’s largest importer of goods with a yearly import value of $2.4 trillion.
The U.S. is also the second-largest exporter of goods after China with exports of $1.4 trillion. As the world’s largest exporter and importer of services, the United States is also the leader in total exports and imports.
Despite the fact that the U.S. can produce everything it needs, China, Mexico, and other developing countries can produce goods for less. Since their cost of living is lower compared to the U.S., they can pay their employees less. As a result, they are better at producing what American consumers want than American manufacturers. This concept is called the theory of comparative advantage.
If we were to look at imports by countries and continents, the largest share of U.S. imports come from following five countries: China, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Germany.
Almost half of America’s total imports by value were purchased from suppliers in Asia.
Below are the most in-demand imported goods to the U.S. in 2020 with trade value in U.S. dollars.
1. Electrical machinery and equipment
The U.S. imports $334 billion in electrical machinery and equipment, becoming the number one largest importer of electrical machinery and equipment in the world. The U.S. imports electrical machinery and equipment primarily from: China ($111B), Mexico ($67.3B), Vietnam ($25.6B), Malaysia ($17.3B), and Taipei ($16.4B).
The U.S. imports $144 billion in cars, becoming the number one largest importer of cars in the world. The U.S. imports cars primarily from: Japan ($32.6B), Canada ($29.7B), Mexico ($29.1B), South Korea ($16.1B), and Germany ($15.1B).
The U.S. imports $92.4 billion in computers, becoming the number one largest importer of computers in the world.
Importing $84.1 billion in Packaged Medicinals, the U.S. has become the largest importer in the world. The U.S. imports pharmaceuticals primarily from: Ireland ($14.4B), Switzerland ($13.2B), Germany ($10.8B), India ($7.26B), and Denmark ($6.01B).
5. Broadcasting equipment and materials
As the U.S. brings in $82 billion in Broadcasting Equipment, it is the largest importer of broadcasting equipment in the world. The U.S. imports broadcasting equipment and materials primarily from: China ($47.5B), Vietnam ($14.3B), Chinese Taipei ($3.83B), Mexico ($2.33B), and South Korea ($2.24B).
6. Mineral fuels including crude oil
With $75.1 billion in Crude Petroleum imports, the U.S. is the 2nd largest importer of Crude Petroleum in the world. The U.S. imports oil primarily from: Canada ($45.4B), Mexico ($8.16B), Saudi Arabia ($6.59B), Iraq ($2.82B), and Colombia ($2.67B).
7. Plastics and rubbers
As it imports $90.8 billion in Plastics and Rubbers, the U.S. is now the largest importer of Plastics and Rubbers in the world. The U.S. imports Plastics and Rubbers primarily from: China ($24.4B), Canada ($13.5B), Mexico ($8.68B), Thailand ($5.08B), and South Korea ($4.47B).
Finally, with $61.7 billion in furniture imports, the U.S. is the largest furniture importer in the world. The U.S. imports furniture primarily from: China ($25B), Vietnam ($9.01B), Mexico ($8.94B), Canada ($4.71B), and Malaysia ($2.09B).