July 12, 2012
News Release 12-077
Inv. No. 332-345
Contact: Peg O'laughlin, 202-205-1819
U.S. SERVICE PROVIDERS REMAIN COMPETITIVE GLOBAL SERVICES MARKET,
U.S. Services Exports Grew by 9 percent from 2009-2010
The United States remained the world's largest services market and the world's leading exporter
and importer of services in 2010, reports the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) in its
publication Recent Trends in U.S. Services Trade, 2012 Annual Report.
The USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, compiles the report
annually. Each year's report presents an overview of U.S. trade in services and highlights some of
the service sectors and geographic markets that contributed substantially to recent services trade
This year's report focuses on infrastructure services, such as banking and telecommunications,
which are essential to a country's overall economic growth and development and are used by
every firm regardless of economic sector. The report also includes separate chapters on specific
industries (banking, insurance, logistics, retail, securities, and telecommunications). These
chapters analyze global competitive conditions in the industry, examine recent trade
performance, discuss non-tariff measures that affect trade, and summarize the industry's outlook.
The 2012 report covers cross-border trade in services through 2010 and affiliate sales through
2009. Highlights of the report follow.
- From 2009 to 2010, U.S. cross-border services exports increased by 9 percent (to $518
billion) while U.S. services imports grew by 6 percent (to $358 billion). This represented a
recovery from the previous year, when exports and imports of services fell following the
financial crisis. Infrastructure services accounted for 25 percent of total U.S. cross-border
services exports and 37 percent of cross-border imports in 2010.
- Services supplied abroad by foreign affiliates of U.S. firms continued to exceed services
purchased from U.S. affiliates of foreign firms, reaching $1.1 trillion and $669 billion,
respectively, in 2009. Infrastructure services accounted for 60 percent of both sales and
purchases of services through affiliates.
- The value added (i.e., the output minus the cost of inputs) by U.S. infrastructure services in
2010 was $3.8 trillion, equal to 43 percent of the value added by all services and 34 percent
of total private sector GDP. This figure had declined in previous years as the financial crisis
and ensuing recession weakened demand, but the sector's value added in 2010 represented
6 percent growth over the previous year.
- Infrastructure services employed 30 million full-time-equivalent employees in 2010, equal to
30 percent of the total U.S. private sector workforce. Retail services accounted for 13
million of these employees. In 2010, labor productivity in infrastructure services grew by 7
percent while average annual wages grew by 4 percent (to $56,000), exceeding the private
sector average wage but trailing wages in goods manufacturing and professional services.
Both productivity and wages varied widely among infrastructure services industries.
- Regulation is a recurring theme among infrastructure services industries covered in this
year's report. For example, financial reforms enacted in 2010 affected the banking,
insurance, and securities services industries. Such regulations aim to address the potential
negative effects of providing services and to meet economic and social objectives. However,
regulations can also represent non-tariff measures that impede the ability of services
providers to enter and operate in markets.
- The outlook for growth in each infrastructure service industry is, for the most part,
dependent on the overall level of economic growth, although factors such as regulatory
reform, technological innovation, and market access will also have a major impact. Joint
ventures and mergers and acquisitions are likely to increase as a way for firms to reduce
costs and enter foreign markets. Market access will be increasingly important to the
banking, logistics, and retail industries, which anticipate faster demand growth in developing
countries than in developed countries.
- The USITC hosted its fifth annual services roundtable on November 3, 2011. The
discussion, summarized in the report, covered multilateral and regional trade negotiations,
ways to harmonize services regulations, and services industries' contributions to global
Recent Trends in U.S. Services Trade, 2012 Annual Report (Investigation No. 332-345, USITC
publication 4338, July 2012) is available on the USITC's Internet site at
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