September 25th, 2007
Algeria and Vietnam might not come to mind immediately as the fastest-growing Top 50 U.S. trade partners over the last five years, but they are, according to WorldCity analysis of the most recent Census statistics.
On a percentage basis, Algeria’s trade with the United States is up 458 percent when comparing January through July of 2007 to the same period in 2002, while Vietnam’s has increased 398 percent. Nigeria is third, with 385 percent growth over the same five-year period.
The United States has large trade deficits with all three, with Algeria and Nigeria leading oil-producing nations and Vietnam a developing manufacturing powerhouse that is often cited as a less expensive alternative to China. The U.S. deficit with Algeria has grown 1,186 percent since 2002, while Vietnam’s has increased 542 percent and Nigeria’s 526 percent.
|Rank||Total Trade||July 2007 YTD||July 2002 YTD||5 Year Dollar Change||5 Year Percent Change|
|41||Trinidad and Tobago||$6,283,337,384||$1,722,830,971||$4,560,506,413||264.71%|
|39||United Arab Emirates||$6,545,765,562||$2,508,135,485||$4,037,630,077||160.98%|
Although China gets most of the attention, and while its deficit is the United States’ largest, its total trade has grown a less substantial 176 percent during the same year-to-date periods. In fact, six nations have grown faster than China, including not only Algeria, Vietnam and Nigeria but also Angola (298 percent), Trinidad and Tobago (265 percent), and Russia (201 percent).
Four of the six are oil-rich nations benefiting from sharply higher oil prices, the exceptions being Trinidad and Tobago, which is a natural gas supplier to the United States, and Vietnam.
Nevertheless, China will continue to capture most of the headlines, whether the issue is lead-tainted toys, the trade deficit or poisonous dog food.
Through the first seven months of 2007, China’s trade with the United States increased $28.9 billion over the same period in 2006, almost three times the next largest increase, for Canada, the No. 1 U.S. trade partner.
The next highest dollar increase belonged to Germany, which saw its overall U.S. trade increase $7.4 billion. Overall, Germany ranks as the No. 5 U.S. trade partner.
In fact, when viewed in dollar terms, the largest gain over the five-year period does, in fact, belong to China, which saw its trade increase $135.3 billion, followed closely by Canada, with an increase of $107 billion. Mexico is third, with an increase of $63.4 billion and Germany, fourth, at $32 billion. Japan, the No. 4 ranked U.S. trade partner, has seen its trade grow $22 billion over the five-year period.
When viewed by Customs district, the five-year trends have obviously benefited those that handle energy Houston, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Great Falls, Mont. or Asian manufactured goods Savannah, in particular. Four of the five saw their trade more than double in the five-year period, the exception being New Orleans, which narrowly missed its trade increased 96.3 percent over that time period.
|July 2007 YTD||July 2007 YTD||July 2002 YTD||5 Year Dollar change||5 Yr Percent change|
|22||Great Falls, Mont.||$25,142,238,798||$10,981,233,778||$14,161,005,020||128.96%|
Houston’s trade grew the fastest in percentage terms, at 164 percent, followed by Great Falls, Mont, which imports natural gas and oil from Canada, at 129 percent; Savannah, with five Asian nations among its top 10 trade partners, at 114 percent; and Philadelphia, a leading oil importer from Nigeria, among others, at 102 percent.
Los Angles, which handled the lion’s share of China imports, saw its two-way trade increase by 62 percent over the five-year January through July period. In dollar terms, however, it was No. 1, with an increase of $75.3 billion, putting strain on the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach as well as Los Angeles International Airport.
Through the first seven months of the year, it remains the nation’s No. 1 Customs district, though its lead over No. 2 New York narrowed slightly. New York’s trade increased $16.6 compared to $12 billion for Los Angeles.
Among the Top 10, the only four registering double-digit growth were Houston, New Orleans, Seattle and Savannah. Seattle’s trade is growing rapidly not because of Asian imports or energy but because of exports Boeing’s jets leave from the Seattle Customs district, and Boeing’s jets are selling well on the global stage.
Overall, the U.S. trade growth through the first seven month was below 10 percent for the first time in five years, since 2002. In July of 2006, the growth was 13.7 percent; the year before it had been 12.3 percent.