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Trade Data, for the Regular People

July 3, 2014

Isabel Sackner-Bernstein is an intern in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs. She is studying Strategic Communication at Elon University.A man is drawing lines connecting countries on a map of the world.

Today is an exciting day for data fanatics all across the United States. The Department of Commerce has released the international trade data for May 2014 and there are plenty of records to celebrate.

It’s been four straight years of record exports for the United States, and this data indicates we are on the right track to continuing this trend.

There are definitely some interesting points behind this month’s data. We learned:

  • May exports of goods were $135.7 billion, the highest month on record;
  • May exports of automotive vehicles, parts, and engines were $13.5 billion, also the highest on record; and
  • May exports to Canada were $27.4 billion, which were also highest on record.

These facts aren’t just for the economists. All this data is available to the general public via ITA’s TradeStats Express, and from a beginner’s stand point, this site is extremely user-friendly.

It breaks down the data into two categories, National Trade Data and State Export Data.

And there are tons of options for tailoring the information to your needs.

Say you want to find out California’s top export product.

You simply head to the TradeStats website, click on State Export Data, then click Export Product Profile to a Selected Market, fill in your information – and voila: California’s top export product is computer and electronic products.

Or, say you want to know the top U.S. export to Mongolia. Click on National Trade Data on the TradeStats website, then on Product Profiles of U.S. Merchandise Trade with a Selected Market. Choose Mongolia as your trade partner country, and there you go: transportation equipment is the United States top export to Mongolia.

The options are endless. So stop reading this and start reading TradeStats.

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