The U.S. has a strong infrastructure of government agencies and nonprofit business organizations that can help you get started in exporting to this promising marketplace. The vast number of bilateral chambers of commerce and other business organizations can give you help, insight and contacts specific to your region. Trade regulations are reasonable and not onerous, making market entry relatively easy.
Export and Import Facts
- Major U.S. exports include agricultural products; industrial supplies; capital goods, such as transistors, aircraft, motor vehicle parts, computers, and telecommunications equipment; and consumer goods ranging from automobiles to pharmaceuticals.
- Major imports include agricultural products; industrial supplies, including crude oil; capital goods, including computers, telecommunications equipment, motor vehicle parts, office machines, and electric power machinery; and consumer goods such as automobiles, clothing, medicines, furniture, and toys
Export/ Import Resources
The United States has a voracious appetite for products and services from most places in the world. As the world's biggest importing economy, the country holds vast opportunities for savvy businesses owners who can find a niche to target within the diverse population. Here are some resources to help you get started.
Compiled by USA.gov, this list includes non-government organizations that may be helpful for exporters who wish to do business within the United States.
The United States International Trade Commission is an independent federal agency with broad investigative responsibilities on matters of trade. This website is also a portal to the official Harmonized Tariff schedule and research in areas that are experiencing issues of unfair trade practices in the U.S.
This subset of the United States International Trade Commission uses an interactive format to deliver information on U.S. import statistics, U.S. export statistics, tariffs, future tariffs and tariff preference information on a self-service basis. Users can submit queries, even using international trade statistics with complex tariff and Customs treatment. This portal allows users anywhere in the world to create and save customized country and product lists for future re-use.
The United States Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) agency is part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). According to the website, USCBP will facilitate about US$2 trillion in legitimate trade in 2008 while enforcing U.S. trade laws.
This section of the USCBP website includes a variety of helpful links and updates for various areas of import into the U.S. It includes some bilingual publications.
This in-depth guide by the USCBP provides a comprehensive overview for businesses interested in importing their goods into the U.S.
This collection of links from the Bureau of Industry and Security within the U.S. Department of Commerce includes helpful tips for exporters as well as regulations that must be followed when exporting to the U.S.
The United States Department of Agriculture oversees meat, poultry and egg products that are imported into the country, ensuring that they are safe as well asproperly labeled and packaged.
This guide, published by the U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council provides helpful tips for exporting to the U.S.
The World Institute for Strategic Economic Research (WISER) maintains an extensive international trade database, including four U.S. state-level export series, U.S. exports and imports by Customs district and by individual port, and most recently, EU, Canadian and Japanese trade statistics.
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) oversees preference programs, which the U.S. government uses to assist countries usually in the developing world, through an enhanced trading relationship with the U.S.
This chart from USCBP shows ports and provides interesting facts about cargo entering the U.S.
One of the primary purposes of the Bureau of Industry and Security is the accurate, consistent and timely evaluation and processing of licenses for proposed exports and re-exports of goods and technology from the U.S. This portal includes links for exporters to facilitate trade.
This is a searchable database of Customs rulings since 1989.
The USCBP publishes a variety of periodicals that cover trade issues, including its signature magazine, Frontline. This portal provides links to these publications as well as to fact sheets about various areas of trade.
The U.S. Small Business Administration maintains this electronic clearinghouse, which includes links to numerous online resources related to compliance in transport of goods by air, sea and land.
A list of frequently-asked questions about exporting to the U.S.
This page includes links to several resources for exporting and importing goods in the U.S., including Basic Importing and Exporting and Importing into the U.S.
This is a collection National Federation of Independent Business links on various topics related to exporting. While it is U.S.-focused, it also has information that is useful about exporting in general and about exporting to the U.S.
This World Bank table provides a breakdown of the number of days required for each step in the process of exporting goods from the U.S. or importing goods into the U.S.
Bilateral chambers of commerce and foreign business groups in the U.S. include:
Americas Chambers of Commerce
- Argentine-American Chamber of Commerce (in Spanish)
Bolivian-American Chamber of Commerce
Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce
American Chamber of Commerce in Canada
Chile-U.S. Chamber of Commerce (in Spanish)
Costa Rican-American Chamber of Commerce
American Chamber of Commerce in Guatemala
United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce
Paraguayan American Chamber of Commerce (in Spanish)
Venezuelan American Chamber of Commerce