Background

The U.S. remained the world’s largest services market and the world’s leading exporter and importer of services in 2019, according to the International Trade Commission’s latest annual report on trends in U.S. services trade. This year’s report focuses on professional services and includes chapters detailing trends in research and development, legal, management consulting, education, architecture and engineering, and healthcare services.

Highlights of this report, which describes trade in services via cross-border transactions through 2019 and via affiliate sales through 2018, include the following.

- In 2019 the value of U.S. private services exports was $853.3 billion (up 5.9 percent from 2018) while imports totaled $564.3 billion (up 3.7 percent).

- Sales of services by foreign affiliates of U.S. firms totaled $1.7 trillion in 2018 (up 6.3 percent) and the value of services purchased from foreign-owned affiliates in the U.S. totaled $1.2 trillion (up 20.1 percent).

- The United Kingdom was the largest U.S. services trade partner in 2019 in terms of both imports and exports. The other top export markets were Canada, Ireland, China, and Japan, while the top import sources were Germany, Japan, Canada, and India.

- The UK was the largest market for U.S.-owned foreign affiliates in 2018, followed by Ireland, Canada, Singapore, and the Netherlands.

- Countries with the biggest share of purchases from foreign-owned affiliates in the U.S. included Japan, the UK, Germany, Canada, and France.

- Professional services accounted for 34 percent of total cross-border services exports and 25 percent of imports in 2019. They also represented 15 percent of total sales by foreign affiliates of U.S. firms and 15 percent of total purchases from U.S. affiliates of foreign firms.

- Top markets for U.S. exports of professional services included Ireland, Switzerland, China, and the UK, while top sources of imports were the UK, Japan, Germany, Ireland, and Canada.

Copyright © 2021 Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.; WorldTrade Interactive, Inc. All rights reserved.

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