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.
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!