BEA Updates Statistics Measure Foreign and Domestic Content Embedded in U.S. Exports

The Bureau of Economic Analysis updated and expanded prototype statistics that look more deeply into U.S. exports, revealing the mix of foreign and domestic content used to make exported goods and services.

For example, a tire manufactured in Ohio and sold in Canada might be made with rubber from China and steel belting from Mexico. Traditional trade statistics cannot separate the foreign inputs, like the tire’s rubber and steel, from the overall value of U.S. exports. However, these statistics can helping untangle complex supply chains and deepening the public’s understanding of them.

Known as trade in value added, the prototype statistics show that 11.1%, or $241.2 billion, of the value of U.S. exports in 2021 came from inputs from other countries. That’s up from 9.9%, or $183.5 billion, from foreign inputs in 2020.

The statistics also provide insights into the U.S. industries behind the 88.9%, or $1.94 trillion, of export value that came directly from U.S. production in 2021. (That compares to 90.1%, or $1.67 trillion, in 2020.)

In traditional trade statistics, the full global presence of some U.S. industries is obscured, because they provide content embedded in other industries’ exports. Trade in Value Added (TiVA) data show how these domestic industries contribute to exports.

The statistics also show which parts of the world receive the value added created by different U.S. industries. And they show which parts of the world supply content used in the production of U.S. exports.