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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.
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).
Source: World’s Top Exports
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.
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.
Here are some interesting figures highlighting the export prowess that is Apple, Ford, and General Motors, and their trade relationship with China.