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Imports/Exports

Imports and exports are the terms used to describe the goods and services traded between nations. Imports Countries import goods that they cannot produce domestically, or that companies can supply to these countries at a higher quality or lower cost. The term can also apply to services rendered to residents of one country from non-residents. Even tourists fall under a loose definition of providing an imported service through the investment they make in hotels, restaurants and attractions. Import statistics can be difficult to track, because of varying definitions and inaccurate coverage. Most of the data collected comes from declarations to custom services. However, these would not account for goods imported to one member nation from another in the European Union (EU), since such products may be moved without customs controls. According to the World Trade Organization, the United States is the world’s largest importer (based on capital investment), followed by the EU, China, Germany and Japan. Exports Exports, simply put, are goods or services produced locally and sold abroad. This may be done as a way to boost the producing nation's gross output, or in exchange for more desired products or services. China has been the world's largest exporter of goods since 2009. Official estimates suggest Chinese exports amounted to $1.904 trillion in 2013. This represents a significant reversal of policies in place for much of that nation’s history, when a more protectionist stance was taken in trading policies. The EU ranks second in exports, followed by the United States, Germany and Japan.

Scholars say government should continue to collect statistics on shipments of export cargo and import cargo in international trade.

WATCH: Should Government Collect Economic Data?

Two Scholars Argue that Federal Role is Essential

The duty of the government to collect census data is actually mentioned in the United States Constitution. The Census Bureau, and other components of the Department of Commerce, now also collect trade data that can benefit US exporters. Proposed budget cuts by the Trump administration may jeopardize these activities. But with business and individuals compiling… Read More


Trump's policies will impact shipments of export cargo and import cargo in international trade.











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