Export to the United States (and what does America import?)

Export to the United States (and what do the Americans import?)

Exports to the United States

The United States (US) has a population of around 320 million.  Around 81% of the population lives in cities. The average income per capita is over 42,000 USD, highest in the OECD. However, the income gap between the wealthiest and the poorest is big. 

What do you need to know to export to American customers?

US customers are price-conscious and may switch to cheaper brands. They also wanted to have more control over what they are spending on. Understanding the US consumers and their behaviours is crucial for international businesses if they want to expand into this market.

What do people import in the United States?

  • Main imports of the US are cars, computers, crude petroleum, packaged medicaments and broadcasting equipment.
  • The US mainly import from China, Mexico, Canada, Japan and Germany.

What are the major ports of the United States?

Being a vast nation, the US has many gateways into the country.

Top container ports in the United States:

  • Los Angeles
  • Long Beach
  • New York and New Jersey
  • Oakland
  • Virginia
  • Houston
  • Tacoma
  • Charleston
  • Seattle

Five busiest airports in the United States are:

  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta international airport
  • Los Angeles International Airport
  • Chicago O'Hare
  • Dallas/Fort Worth
  • Denver International Airport

What are the customs and tariffs regulations in the United States?

  • Duty rates are provided by the Harmonized Tariff System. You can refer to this system to find out the duties and taxes applied for your products.
  • The US has various regulations depending on the goods being imported.
  • These rules and regulations are enforced by the US Customs and Border Protection.
  • Importation of hazardous substances is regulated by the Toxic Substances Control Act.

What is the distribution structure in the United States?

Wholesale and retail industry are both equally important in the US economy. In 2014, the wholesale industry accounted for 6% of US total GDP, and the retail industry was worth 5.8%.

America is a highly developed market and its distribution and sales structure is vast. You have an array of channels to choose from: Local distributors, franchisees, e-marketplaces, agents, retail outlets among many others. It’s important to know your target audience, learn their consumer habits and utilise the help of a local partner to help you identify the correct distribution mix in such a wide and complex market.

Hence, knowledge of the customer base, major gateways, legal matters as well as the distribution structure will be beneficial to your expansion. Having a local partner will help you navigate around the US market and ensure optimal results for your strategies.

This entry in America was updated on March 14, 2018 by specialist.