The Importance of U.S. Manufacturing

34. Manufacturing Still Dominates U.S. Exports, But Its Share Is Declining

U.S. manufacturers exported an average of $132 billion of goods per month thus far in 2013, and exports increased from $649 billion in 2000 to $1,561 billion in 2012, or by 141 percent. Manufactured goods still dominate total U.S. exports, but the share declined from 58 percent in 2000 to 52 percent from January to November of 2013; the share of mineral fuels increased from 1 percent to 6 percent in this period.
Breaking down the composition of manufactured goods exports in 2013 reveals that capital goods represented 45 percent of exports, while consumer goods made up only 16 percent. Advanced technology products such as aerospace equipment ($105 billion in exports), life sciences ($29 billion), and information and communications equipment ($84 billion) accounted for 20 percent of total goods exports.
U.S. exports of manufactured goods were down sharply in 2008 as a result of the global recession, but made a significant recovery since 2009. In 2011, these exports reached record annual levels, and net exports made a positive contribution to economic growth.

To Trade and Investment


The U.S. Is the #3 Manufacturing Exporter


The U.S. Is Losing Export Market Share


U.S. Manufacturing Exports to 238 Countries


Manufacturing Still Dominates U.S. Exports, But Its Share Is Declining


U.S. Manufacturers Invest Primarily in High-Wage Countries


Foreign Investment in U.S. Manufacturing Grows


Foreign Companies Are Important to U.S. Manufacturing