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Trade Stats Express: Using the Tools the Pros Use to Find New Export Markets

April 28, 2009

Slade Broom has been with the International Trade Administration for five years. He currently serves as the Senior Advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Industry Analysis.

As an analyst with the International Trade Administration (ITA), the data that I use in my analysis of international trade has to be timely and accurate. Dependable data helps ITA’s analysts and economists develop strategies and recommendations that lead directly to sound economic policies. Better still, you can use this data to analyze trade flows and foreign markets that can make your business more competitive.

My office, the Office of Industry Analysis, serves as ITA’s gateway to economic data. The tools that I use every day to analyze trade flows and industry output aren’t just limited to government use: they’re available for your business as well! Best of all, they’re easy to use and they’re available 24 hours a day, free of charge.

One of the tools I use daily is Trade Stats Express (TSE). In less time than it takes you to brew a cup of coffee, you can use TSE to learn that in 2008 alone:

  • The U.S. exported over $1.3 trillion worth of merchandise to the international community.
  • Of those exports, more than $1.1 trillion were manufactured goods.
  • Total goods exports from the U.S. grew by 11.8% over 2007.
Screenshot of TSE website

Trade Stats Express offers tools to retrieve, visualize, analyze, download and print export,

You may be asking “How does that help me better understand my industry and potential markets for trade?” The answer is in TSE’s entire suite of tools. TSE provides micro-level trade data that can show you trade patterns for a specific product (i.e. Harmonized System Codes), a specific industry (i.e. NAICS codes), from a specific state (e.g. Texas), and to a specific market (e.g. New Zealand). This information can provide you with tools for you to determine new markets where your products can be viable. You can even sort your results by dollar amount, dollar change, and percent change over prior year.

For example, by employing the State Export Data function on TSE, a furniture manufacturer (NAICS 337) in Michigan could determine that, in 2008:

  • The international market represented more than $4.5 billion in total exports of U.S. furniture and related products, and U.S. sales internationally expanded by almost $549 million since 2007.
  • Canada and Mexico were the largest importers of furniture from Michigan, but Saudi Arabia (118% growth), Mexico (113% growth), Qatar (28%) and the United Arab Emirates (21%) showcased rapid growth within the top 10 foreign markets for Michigan’s furniture. Overall, Michigan’s furniture exports grew by almost 17%, an increase of nearly $72.6 million.
  • Michigan’s furniture exports account for nearly $503 million of the $40 billion in exports of manufactured goods.

Tools like TSE provide an additional source of information for American businesses to use in examining and targeting foreign markets for new sales. And the best part is that this is one of many tools that ITA has to offer. Check out ITA’s

Industry Trade Data and Analysis website to see what additional tools and reports can assist you!

8 comments

  1. As someone who works in exporting, I am glad to see that ITA is attempting to engage with the public. I hope in the future to see more videos and outreach programs that educate and aid the public in the exporting process.


  2. very complete this guide. i love this blog


  3. Interesting read. We are in the furniture industry and are always keeping a close look at exports. Our industry has suffered greatly from imports and it makes me somewhat happy to see that we are still exporting goods.


  4. I have to agree with JP. My biggest concern is China. I don’t blame them for our woes. “It’s business!” I blame ourselves for allowing this to happen. Buy American.


  5. “The tools that I use every day to analyze trade flows and industry output aren’t just limited to government use: they’re available for your business as well!” Though an old post, yet it serves as a complete guide for businesses (SMEs). The data can help in maturing one’s business strategy. It was useful for me. Great post!


  6. I have to agree with JP. My biggest concern is China. I don’t blame them for our woes. “It’s business!” I blame ourselves for allowing this to happen. Buy American.


  7. Like 4seoro I think we must blame our laws, because is to easy to import and of course all take advantage of this. For business we search always better price and China offer them.


  8. In 2012 US imported $516 billion Consumer Products (Drugs, Consumer Electronics, Clothing, Household Goods, and Furniture) while only exporting $181 billion.



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