What Are the Top 10 U.S. Imports?
American imports totaled $2.614 trillion last year. Read the list below to find out which products made up the top 10 U.S. imports for 2018.
The following list details the top 10 U.S. imports in 2018 — ranking them in order of highest dollar value. America is among the largest importers in the world and the U.S. current trade deficit in physical goods and services was $621 billion. This means the goods imported into the United States were over a half trillion dollars more than the value of exports.
What Are the Major U.S. Imports?
- Machinery (including computers and hardware) – $386.4 billion
- Electrical machinery – $367.1 billion
- Vehicles and automobiles – $306.7 billion
- Minerals, fuels, and oil – $241.4 billion
- Pharmaceuticals – $116.3 billion
- Medical equipment and supplies – $93.4 billion
- Furniture, Lighting, and Signs – $72.1 billion
- Plastics – $61.9 billion
- Gems and precious metals – $60.8 billion
- Organic chemicals – $54.6 billion
The total value of U.S. Imports for 2018 is up by 7.5% since 2017. America’s population is 330 million people, and the total dollar value of every U.S. import translates to about $9,457 for every resident in the country.
Where Does the U.S. Get Most of its Imports?
The United States’ greatest trading partners are also those who provide the most of the country’s imports. Based solely on the strength of goods (not services), the most powerful nation in the world receives the most imports from China (18.2%), Mexico (14.4%), and Canada (12.7%). Rounding out the list of the top 10 United States imports are Japan, Germany, South Korea, Vietnam, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and France, accounting for approximately 23.9% of the rest of U.S.-bound imports.
What are the U.S. Imports and Exports?
The United States, as part of a greater global trade agreement through various treaties and governed by the World Trade Organization (WTO), imports more goods and services than exports, leading to a trade deficit of over $600 billion.
The top imports are listed above. The United States’ top exports are as follows:
- Machinery (including computers and hardware) – $213.1 billion
- Minerals, fuels, and oil – $189.9 billion
- Electrical machinery and equipment – $176.1 billion
- Aircraft and spacecraft – $139.1 billion
- Vehicles and automobiles – $130.6 billion
- Medical equipment and supplies – $$89.6 billion
- Plastics – $66.5 billion
- Gems and precious metals – $63.8 billion
- Pharmaceuticals – $48.4 billion
- Organic chemicals – $40.2 billion
What Foods Does the U.S. Import?
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, almost two-thirds of all agricultural imports include horticultural and tropical products like fruits, vegetables, nuts, wine, flowers, and hops. Other food products like sugar, coffee, cocoa, and rubber provide about 18% of all agricultural products brought into the United States each year.
Canada, Mexico, the European Union, Chile, and Brazil are the largest importers of American-made food products, including horticultural goods, sugar, and tropical products unique the North American climate. Nearly $14 billion in food goods go to these countries each year.
Note: this post was originally published in 2014 and has been updated to include new statistics and information.