U.S. State Trade with the United Kingdom

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In 2015, the U.S. exported over $56 billion in merchandise to the United Kingdom. That represents nearly 4 percent of all U.S. exports and makes the U.K. the fifth largest export market for the U.S. After hitting a 10-year low in 2013, exports have been on the rise to the U.K. for the past two years, but recent political developments could put those gains at risk.1 

U.S. trade with the United Kingdom is substantial.

  • In 2015, the U.S. exported over $56 billion in merchandise to the U.K.
  • Trade with the U.K. represents nearly 4 percent of all U.S. exports and makes the U.K. the fifth largest export market for the U.S. 
  • The top export category from the U.S. to the U.K. was aircraft, spacecraft and parts in 2015, worth nearly $10 billion and equal to 17.2 percent of all exports to the country. 
  • From 2005 to 2015, the value of exports (adjusted for inflation) from the U.S. to the U.K. grew by nearly $10 billion, an increase of 21 percent. That’s on par with growth in total U.S. exports, which also grew by 21 percent over the same period.
  • After hitting a 10-year low in 2013, exports have been on the rise to the U.K. for the past two years. However, those gains could be in jeopardy following the U.K.’s recent vote to leave the European Union, also known as Brexit.

On a state-by-state basis, exports to the U.K. vary significantly.

  • Exports to the U.K. from U.S. states range in value from less than one percent of total exports in six states (Alaska, Hawaii, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota and South Dakota) to a high of 22.9 percent in Utah and 16.3 percent in Delaware.
  • The top state—Utah—exports a range of goods to the U.K. including gold and primary metals, animal products, aircraft engines, automotive parts, electronics, personal care products, pharmaceuticals, sporting goods, and industrial goods such as valves, drilling tools and fuses.
  • From 2005 to 2015, exports to the U.K. grew in about half of all states (26) when adjusted for inflation. 
  • Over this time, eight states saw exports grow by more than 100 percent: Delaware, Kentucky, Louisiana, South Carolina, Utah, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming. In Delaware, exports grew by 265 percent. 
  • From 2005 to 2015, exports decreased in 24 states. In three states—Hawaii, Idaho and South Dakota—exports decreased by more than 50 percent.

International trade is a key ingredient to economic growth.

  • Exports and imports support more than 1 in 5 U.S. jobs and these trade-related jobs grew more than three times faster than total employment from 2004 to 2014.
  • Foreign investment in the U.S. drives job growth, with 5.8 million U.S. workers employed by foreign-owned companies.
  • Nearly one million U.S. workers were employed by companies based in the United Kingdom in 2015.

1. Author’s analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, TradeStats Express.

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