Global Trade, the United States, and Developing Countries

July 18, 2005

Global trade, the United States,and developing countries:

Trade plays a key role in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, and it makes up a large part of the global economy. For example:

  • The value of world exports in 2001 was over $6 trillion, one-third of which originated in developing countries and one-third of which was sold in these countries.
  • Over the past 40 years, trade has grown from 9.6% to 26% of the U.S. national economy. This shift has meant that more U.S. jobs are linked to trade and that Americans can buy more low-cost goods from abroad.
  • As poor countries become richer and more integrated in the global economy, they purchase more American goods. About 45% of U.S. exports go to developing countries today, compared with 39% a decade ago.

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