July 31, 2003
News Release 03-071
Inv. No. 332-345

ITC REPORTS WIDENING OF THE U.S. MERCHANDISE TRADE DEFICIT

Shifts in U.S. Merchandise Trade 2002, released today by the United States International Trade Commission (ITC), reports that the U.S. merchandise trade deficit widened by $58.8 billion, from $466.6 billion in 2001 to $525.5 billion in 2002. Total trade (imports plus exports) declined by $14 billion to $1.8 trillion, reflecting sluggish economic growth in the United States and many of its trading partners.

The U.S. trade deficit with China increased more than any other bilateral trade deficit, rising from $84.1 billion in 2001 to $104.2 billion in 2002, partially as a result of strong growth in exports from China of relatively low-priced goods. Electronic products showed the largest deficit shift by sector, increasing by $20 billion (29 percent) to $88.8 billion.

Shifts in U.S. Merchandise Trade 2002 reviews U.S. trade performance in 2002, focusing on changes in U.S. exports, imports, and trade balances of key natural resource, agricultural, and manufacturing industries, as well as changes in U.S. bilateral/multilateral trade with major partners. This year's report provides a 10-year perspective on developments in selected industry sectors. Also included are profiles of the U.S. industry and market for over 250 industry/commodity groups and subgroups, providing data for 1998-2002 on domestic consumption, production, employment, trade, and import penetration.

The ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, publishes this report as a companion to its separate report, Recent Trends in U.S. Services Trade, issued annually in May. This year's merchandise report covers:

Shifts in U.S. Merchandise Trade 2002 (Inv. No. 332-345, USITC Publication 3611, July 2003) will be available on the ITC's Internet site at www.usitc.gov. It will also be available at regional federal depository libraries in the United States. A printed copy may be requested by calling 202-205-1809 or by writing to the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street, SW, Washington, DC 20436. Requests may also be faxed to 202-205-2104.

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