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 $140 billion in 2018, accounting for 10% of all U.S. goods exports and 9% of all global chemicals exports.
  • Of the 542,000 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 5.2% per year through 2024.
  • American shale gas has attracted $204 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 $31 billion in industrial chemicals in 2018.
  • The three largest national markets for U.S. chemical exports in 2018 were Mexico ($23 billion), Canada ($23 billion), and China ($12 billion).

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US Chemicals Trade By The Numbers Fact Sheet_October2018

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