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U.S. Trade in Royalties and License Fees: 2010–14

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  • U.S. exports increased by 4.9 percent annually to $110.9 billion in 2014
  • U.S. imports increased by 4.5 percent annually to $34.5 billion in 2014

The United States posted large trade surpluses in royalties and license fees during 2010–14, which reached $76.5 billion in 2014, up from $62.7 billion in 2010. U.S. exports of royalties and license fees increased by $19.3 billion during 2010–14, while U.S. imports increased by $5.6 billion. The European Union (EU) has consistently been the leading U.S. export and import market for royalties and license fees, followed by Japan and Switzerland, which have alternated as the second and third largest markets for both imports and exports since 2010. U.S. exports to these countries are primarily driven by U.S. exports of industrial processes (for the EU and Switzerland) and computer software (Japan). For more information on U.S. trade in services, see chapter 1 of Recent Trends in U.S. Services Trade: 2016 Annual Report.