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          US largest export companies and their relationship with China

          US largest export companies and their relationship with China

          Number of exporters down in 2017

          According to the latest data from the US Census Bureau, the number of US exporters in 2017 fell to 284,168. That’s a 1.09% decrease from the 287,314 identified in 2016.

          Despite the slight dip, there was an increase in the total value of the exported goods from $1.29 trillion to $1.292 trillion.

          SMEs represented 97.5% of the exporters and contributed to around $461.3 billion in total export goods - a 7.48% increase in value from 2016. Of these, one-third were from the wholesale sector and a quarter from manufacturing.

          US largest export companies

          The United States’ influence on the world market and global trade cannot be denied. In fact, it is the second-largest exporter in the world after China.

          Of the product-exporting companies in the country, Apple came out tops in 2017, just edging out ExxonMobile. Its main export, computer hardware, racked up $331.1 billion in export sales, marking a 12.9% increase from 2016.

          This is followed by oil and gas companies ExxonMobil and Chevron, with $330.3 billion and $260.1 billion worth of export sales respectively - a drop from their 2016 figures.

          The country’s two main automakers, Ford and General Motors, complete the top 5 product-exporting US companies.

          Ford recorded $238 billion in export sales, up 5.8% from 2016, while its competitor General Motors made the largest improvement of the top 10 companies - a 14% increase to $221.7 billion in 2017.

          Here’s the full list of the US largest export companies (2017 figures).

          1. Apple (computer hardware): US$331.1 billion, up 12.9% from 2016
          2. ExxonMobil (oil, gas): $330.3 billion, down -1.9%
          3. Chevron (oil, gas): $260.1 billion, down -2.3%
          4. Ford Motor (car/truck makers): $238 billion, up 5.8%
          5. General Motors (car/truck makers): $221.7 billion, up 14%
          6. Pfizer (pharmaceuticals): $176.1 billion, up 5.1%
          7. Johnson & Johnson (medical equipment, supplies): $141.2 billion, up 5.8%
          8. Cisco Systems (communications equipment): $126.2 billion, up 12.1%
          9. Procter & Gamble (household/personal care items): $117 billion, down -9.4%
          10. Intel (semiconductors): $113.3 billion, up 7.4%

          Source: World’s Top Exports

          Trade war impact

          Ford & General Motors hit hard

          The ongoing trade war between the US and China has had these exporters extremely worried. This is especially so for automakers Ford and General Motors since the US government imposed a 25% tax on China-imported autos and with China’s tariffs on US-imported vehicles hitting 40%.

          It’s no surprise then that the automotive industry will be the worst-hit from the tariffs being applied by both sides.

          In lieu of this, both companies are making contingency plans. General Motors is trying to get its China-made Buick SUV exempt from the tariffs, while Ford has announced it will be cancelling its plan to import the Ford Active crossover from China due to the ‘negative financial impact’ resulting from the tariffs.

          Analysts warn Apple’s China operations may be at risk

          The Apple management will also be keeping a close eye on the developments as the US threatens even more tariffs.

          Apple is considered to be one of the most successful US tech firms in China, with nearly one-fifth of the company’s revenues coming from the Asian giants. Analysts say it’s the biggest tech company at risk from the trade war.

          An escalation of the war could severely damage the company’s operations in China. It’s estimated that Apple’s valuation could fall by nearly 5% if iPhone sales in China were to drop by 10 million units in the 2019 financial year.

          Interesting facts about Apple, Ford, and General Motors exports

          Here are some interesting figures highlighting the export prowess that is Apple, Ford, and General Motors, and their trade relationship with China.

          Top product-exporting US companies and their relationship with China infographic


          1. From 2012 to mid-2018, the Apple iPad market share of global tablet shipments averaged 31%. Source: Statista
          2. 61 million iPhones were assembled and shipped from China to the US in 2017. The iPhone 7 (released in 2016 and on sale for 2017) accounted for $15.7 billion of the US trade deficit with China or 4.4% of the total. Source: Reuters
          3. Over the last decade, Apple shipped 373 million iPhones. Source: Reuters


          1. Ford produced approximately 6.4 million vehicles worldwide in 2016. That’s more than 17,500 per day or 730 per hour. Source: Statista
          2. In 2013, Ford shipped more than 380,000 vehicles from the United States. More than 1,000 a day. Source: International Trade Administration

          General Motors

          1. There are 2,300 containers transporting parts for General Motors all over the world per day. Source: Automotive Logistics
          2. China is General Motor’s biggest market. Source: CNN
          3. General Motors has third-party suppliers located in-house at their Orion complex, which handle logistics. This saves the company approximately $10 million annually in shipping fees. Source: Assembly Mag

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