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Statement from U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson on U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services in November 2011

Friday, January 13, 2012

U.S. Secretary of Commerce John E. Bryson issued the statement below on the release of the November 2011 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services report by the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Today’s report showed that U.S. exports of goods and services in November 2011 decreased 0.9 percent from October 2011 to $177.8 billion, with this month’s exports of consumer goods ($15.7 billion) the highest on record. U.S. imports of goods and services increased by 1.3 percent to reach $225.6 billion, causing the U.S. trade deficit to increase by 10.4 percent to reach $47.8 billion in November 2011. Petroleum imports increased 31 percent, while crude oil imports rose by 6.5 percent. The increase was largely caused by rising prices.

American goods and services exports in the first 11 months of 2011 were up 15 percent, or $251.5 billion, from the same period in 2010, to reach $1.93 trillion, putting the U.S. on track to meet the Obama administration’s National Export Initiative targets and exceed a record $2 trillion in exports for 2011.

This consists of gains in sectors that support U.S. jobs, such as automotive vehicles, where U.S. exports of passenger cars increased nearly 24 percent, or $8.3 billion, in the first 11 months of 2011.

“Today’s international trade numbers illustrate the impact imports of petroleum products have on America’s trade deficit,” Bryson said. “They’re also an indication of the need to further intensify our efforts to reach the 95 percent of the world’s consumers who live outside our borders.

“The good news from today’s report is that we remain on track to meet President Obama’s goal of doubling exports by the end of 2014, and the increase in U.S. auto exports is especially promising for an industry that some were prepared to leave for dead just three years ago.”

Fact sheet