Cross blog post by Stefan M. Selig is the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade
“The shadow of crisis has passed,” the President declared in his State of the Union two weeks ago, and the export data we released today goes to the heart of that very point.
The Commerce Department announced today that the U.S. economy hit a new annual record for exports, with $2.35 trillion in goods and services shipped in 2014.
That also represents the fifth consecutive year that our economy yielded record exports, going back to 2010 when the President launched the National Export Initiative.
If you take a deeper dive into the numbers, you see that exports are an important chapter in the larger story of our economic recovery.
Last year, we achieved record annual goods exports with Canada ($312 billion), Mexico ($240 billion) and China ($124 billion). In fact, the U.S. economy had record goods exports with 52 countries in 2014.
It was also a banner year when it came to goods exports with our free trade agreement (FTA) markets. You would expect that our exports to these countries would be strong. But last year saw enormous year-over-year growth in a variety of FTA markets throughout the world: up 7% with South Korea, 9% with Guatemala, 10% with Colombia, 11% with the Dominican Republic, and 28% with Oman.
Our services industry also enjoyed a banner year in 2014, hitting an all-time high of $710 billion.
Travel and tourism remained our strongest service export (it is easy to forget that every dollar a foreign visitor spends on airfare, lodging, and entertainment counts as an export dollar) coming in at $182 billion.
It was also a record year for goods exports, exceeding $1.6 trillion. When you take a look at individual sectors, it is easy to see a compelling story.
Exports of passenger cars represented our third-largest source of year-over-year growth—$61 billion in exports—an increase of more than $4 billion. Our three leading export markets for U.S. passenger cars were Canada, China, and Germany.