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Visualizing 30 Years of Imports from U.S. Trading Partners

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30 Years of Imports by Top U.S. Trading Partners

By the second quarter of 2023, the U.S. import bill had hit nearly $2 trillion.

But which countries are the top U.S. trading partners, and what do they ship to the largest economy in the world?

We use data as of July 2023 from the U.S. Census Bureau to create the chart above, showing America’s largest trading partners and how they’ve changed since 1989.

Ranked: U.S. Trading Partners by Imports (2023)

Through the first half of 2023, the EU was the biggest source of U.S. imports, accounting for nearly one-fifth of all goods and services imported into the country.

An interesting observation of this trade relationship is that the United States’ physical imports from (and exports to) the EU are essentially the same traded goods categories (medicines, machinery, and transportation equipment).

This is a representation of a phenomenon where richer countries tend to trade the same goods with each other, despite having the ability to manufacture domestically. The simple explanation behind this: consumers benefit from having more choice, and companies benefit from specialization and economies of scale.

Here are the major sources of U.S. imports in 2023 (through July), ranked below:

RankCountry/Trade EntityU.S. Import Share (2023)
1🇪🇺 EU18.6%
2🇲🇽 Mexico15.2%
3🇨🇦 Canada13.5%
4🇨🇳 China13.2%
5🇯🇵 Japan4.6%
6🇰🇷 South Korea3.7%
7🇻🇳 Vietnam3.5%
8🇮🇳 India2.7%
9🇹🇼 Taiwan2.7%
10🇹🇭 Thailand1.8%

The U.S. sources nearly one-third of all imports from second and third-biggest trading partners, neighbors Mexico (15.2%) and Canada (13.5%).

All three countries are part of USMCA (the new trade agreement replacing NAFTA), facilitating trilateral trade, and resulting in curious import and export patterns. For example, the U.S. imports oil from Canada, but exports oil to Mexico. Meanwhile, it imports transportation equipment from Mexico, and exports it to Canada.

China (13.2%) and Japan (4.6%) round out the top five import trade partners. Both countries have also been the biggest sources of U.S. imports in the past, China as recently as 2022, while Japan way further back in 1989.

RankCountry/Trade EntityU.S. Import Share (1989)
1🇯🇵 Japan19.8%
2🇨🇦 Canada18.6%
3🇲🇽 Mexico5.7%
4🇹🇼 Taiwan5.1%
5🇰🇷 South Korea4.2%
6🇨🇳 China2.5%
7🇹🇭 Thailand0.9%
8🇮🇳 India0.7%
9🇻🇳 Vietnam0.0%

Note: The EU was formally established in 1993.

Meanwhile, since the 2010s, countries in South and Southeast Asia have taken up a larger share of U.S. imports, filling out the bottom half of the top 10, reflecting shifting bases of global manufacturing.

U.S. Trade Deficits

The U.S. imports more than it exports to all its top trade partners, and as a result had a total trade deficit of nearly $700 billion by the second quarter of 2023. This is not out of pocket—the country has logged an annual trade deficit for much of its history post-WWII.

RankCountry/Trade EntityDeficit ($ Billions)
1🇨🇳 China-$181.8
2🇪🇺 EU-$139.3
3🇲🇽 Mexico-$100.7
4🇻🇳 Vietnam-$66.7
5🇯🇵 Japan-$45.8
6🇨🇦 Canada-$42.4
7🇰🇷 South Korea-$34.7
8🇹🇼 Taiwan-$29.9
9🇮🇳 India-$28.8
10🇹🇭 Thailand-$26.7

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign-Trade Balance (EU), Foreign Trade Statistics (Top 10).

Economists argue that this deficit is a reflection of the low saving rate in the economy, where demand for goods is driven by borrowing. At the same time this allows the country to maintain robust economic growth that it perhaps would not have achieved with a higher saving rate.

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Misc

Visualizing the Market Share of U.S. Soft Drinks

Dr Pepper tied Pepsi as America’s No. 2 soda in 2024.

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Line chart showing the change in market share of U.S. carbonated soft drinks between 1995 and 2023.

Visualizing the Market Share of U.S. Soft Drinks

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Soda, with its sweet flavors and refreshing carbonation, is one of the preferred drinks among Americans, especially kids, and is also a significant part of the beverage and food industry.

In fact, the U.S. soft drink market has seen increasing growth and is anticipated to reach $388 billion in annual sales by 2025.

In this graphic, we visualize the change in market share of U.S. carbonated soft drinks between 1995 and 2023, based on sales volume data from Beverage Digest, as tabulated by The Wall Street Journal. Figures are rounded.

Dr. Pepper Ties Pepsi as America’s No. 2 Soda in 2024

Coke has reigned for decades as the best-selling soft drink in the United States.

At 130 years old, Coke also is the most consumed soda in the world, with an estimated 1.9 billion servings across 200 countries. As a result, Coca-Cola is one of the world’s most valuable brands.

While Coke has maintained 17-20% market share since 1995, Pepsi has seen a drop from 15.0% in 1995 to 8.3% in 2023.

Pepsi was surpassed by Diet Coke at the end of the 2000s but regained the second position during the 2010s. In 2024, however, Pepsi saw Dr. Pepper tie it as America’s No. 2 soda.

Market Share of U.S. Soft Drinks1995200020052010201520202023
Coke20.8%20.2%17.6%17.5%18.7%19.5%19.2%
Dr. Pepper5.7%6.3%5.7%6.5%7.2%8.0%8.3%
Pepsi15.0%13.5%11.2%9.8%9.1%8.7%8.3%
Sprite5.1%6.6%5.7%5.8%6.6%7.8%8.1%
Diet Coke8.8%8.6%9.8%10.2%8.6%7.9%7.8%

Sprite and Diet Coke complete the list of best-selling soft drinks in the country, with 8.1% and 7.8% market shares, respectively. Combined, the three Coca-Cola brands (Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite) have 35% of the market.

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