U.S. Chamber of Commerce link

The Benefits of International Trade

Learn more about how trade benefits the U.S.

  • Trade allows American businesses to sell products, produce, and services to the 95% of the world's consumers that live outside the United States.
  • U.S. FTAs, which cover 20 countries, do an outstanding job making big markets even out of small economies.
  • Nearly 40 million American jobs are supported by trade—that’s one in five jobs across the United States.
  • Manufacturing is the sector that exports the most. The White House reports that one in four manufacturing jobs depends on exports. In fact, the United States remains the world's largest manufacturer.
  • The United States is by far the world's largest exporter of services, and America's globally competitive service industries — which range from insurance and retail to telecommunications and express delivery — benefit immensely from opportunities abroad.
  • American farmers and ranchers also depend on exports. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that one in every three acres on American farms is planted for export markets.
  • Imports benefit Americans as well. They bring lower prices for American families as they try to stretch their budgets, expand choices and competition in the marketplace, and give us access to products that would not otherwise be available — such as fresh fruit in the winter.
  • 98% of the 300,000 U.S. companies that export are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and they account for one-third of U.S. merchandise exports, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.