U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker today announced that U.S. exports in 2013 set a new record for a fourth straight year. International Trade in U.S. Goods and Services data released today by the U.S. Department of Commerce show that U.S. exports reached $2.3 trillion in 2013, up nearly $700 billion since 2009. The U.S. trade deficit improved $63.1 billion from the past year to $471.5 billion, the lowest since 2009. Merchandise exports to the 20 economies that have trade agreements with the United States reached a record $732.0 billion.
U.S. goods export sectors reached all-time highs across the board in 2013, including key industries such as automotive, industrial supplies, consumer goods, capital goods, and petroleum. Imports of goods decreased for the first time since 2009.
The trade surplus in services exports reached a record $231.6 billion, an increase of 12 percent from 2012. Annual service exports hit all-time highs led by the travel and tourism sector. In addition, in 2013, the services sector accounted for more than one half of the dollar growth in total U.S. exports compared to 2012.
"We've achieved a fourth-consecutive year of record-breaking export levels, demonstrating the strong momentum behind President Obama's export agenda," said Secretary Pritzker. "The fact is, we live in a globally-connected world in which 95 percent of America's consumers live outside our borders. American companies clearly understand the value of selling their goods and services all over the world, which not only helps them expand, but also grows our economy and creates good jobs. Every $1 billion in additional exports supports approximately 5,000 U.S. jobs, and as such, trade and investment are critical to the strength of our economy. That is why we at the Department of Commerce are laser-focused on helping create more opportunities for businesses to export."
Since President Obama launched the National Export Initiative in 2010, an ambitious plan to sell more American goods and services into foreign markets, the United States has not only seen record exports but has seen an increase of 1.3 million export-related jobs. Expanding trade and investment is a top priority of the Department of Commerce and a key pillar of the Department's "Open for Business Agenda."
Strengthening relations with our trading partners is critical to continuing export and investment growth. Trade promotion and trade missions are some of the tools the Department is using to expand markets to U.S. goods and services and spurring investment in our economy. Secretary Pritzker is currently leading 17 U.S. companies on a business development mission in Mexico, the United States' third-largest trading partner. In 2013, U.S. goods exports to Mexico reached a record $226.2 billion.
"The U.S.-Mexico bilateral relationship is among our closest and most extensive in the world," said Secretary Pritzker. "Approximately $1.4 billion of merchandise trade and one million people cross our 2,000 mile shared border daily, and I believe there is incredible potential for our companies to do business together and for our countries to continue to deepen our economic relationship."
Mexico is one of 11 Latin America markets targeted by the Department of Commerce's new Look South Initiative -- a federal government-wide effort to encourage U.S. companies to export to the region through enhanced trade promotion events. U.S. exports to Mexico and South and Central America are growing faster than our trade with the rest of the world.