U.S. Chemicals Trade By the Numbers

As the U.S. chemical industry expands due to increased supplies of shale gas, chemical manufacturers increasingly depend on duty-free trade and access to new export markets in order to strengthen our position as a leading, low-cost supplier of chemicals.

  • Total U.S. exports were $130 billion in 2017, accounting for 10% of all U.S. goods exports and 9% of all global chemicals exports.
  • Of the 529,000 Americans employed by chemistry, 30% are in export-dependent jobs.
  • 40% of all U.S. chemical exports and more than half of all U.S. chemical imports are between companies and their subsidiaries.
  • U.S. industrial chemical exports are expected to expand an average 7% per year through 2023.
  • American shale gas has attracted $202 billion in announced U.S. chemical industry investment, much of which is directed toward U.S. export markets.
  • Exports of specific chemicals directly linked to shale gas are projected to reach $123 billion by 2030, more than double the total in 2014.
  • The U.S. had a large and growing trade surplus of $33 billion in industrial chemicals in 2017.
  • The two largest national markets for U.S. chemical exports in 2017 were Mexico ($21 billion) and Canada ($22 billion).

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US Chemicals Trade By The Numbers Fact Sheet_October2018

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