U.S. trade/export report and statistics related to travel services
The Commerce Department and ESA released a brief report on “U.S. Trade in Private Services.” The report (PDF) shows that the United States has consistently run a record services trade surplus that is driving overall exports growth and topped half a trillion dollars in 2010.
Most of the time when you hear about trade, it is about trade in goods, in part because it is easier to wrap our minds around the idea of goods (pictures of large container ships help, and we often notice the markings on products that note where they were made).
However, the United States exports a sizable amount of services (non-tangible items of value, such as school tuition or an airplane ticket), and they are leading the way toward doubling U.S. exports in support of several million new jobs under President Obama’s National Export Initiative.
(Source: Department of Commerce’s Chief Economist Mark Doms; May 11, 2011; details: http://www.commerce.gov/blog/2011/05/11/commerces-chief-economist-esa-releases-report-us-trade-private-services)
Particularly interesting facts from the report are the following:
The largest category of exports of services by the United States was for travel (foreigners visiting the United States), which totaled $103.1 billion in 2010.
Additionally, surplus in travel and passenger fares increased $29.8 billion from 2003 to 2010.
Just a few other tidbits of information:
- The large increase in the U.S. surplus with China in the last three years (from 2007 to 2010) is mostly from an increase in the surplus of “other private services” and of travel and fares. Travel and fares exports to China jumped 39.0 percent in 2010 alone.
- The largest U.S. services receipts from China were travel and fares ($5.0 billion)
- Travel and fares of Indian citizens visiting the U.S. were $4.0 billion, while U.S. citizens visiting India spent $2.3 billion in this category.