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The US International Trade Commission Reports Strong Trade Performance By U.S. Service Industries As Export Growth Accelerates in 2000
Jun 20, 2002

The U.S. service sector, which accounted for 79 percent of U.S. gross domestic product in 1999 and 81 percent of the U.S. private-sector workforce in 2000, continues to exert a strong positive effect on overall U.S. trade performance, reports the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in its publication Recent Trends in U.S. Services Trade, 2002 Annual Report.

The report presents a statistical overview of U.S. trade in services and provides industry-specific analyses focused on trends in exports, imports, and trade balances during 2000, the most recent period for which annual services trade data are available. The report also compares the 2000 data to the trend of the previous five years. Industry discussions include a brief examination of issues and trends influencing competitive conditions. This year's report concludes with an examination of foreign direct investment in infrastructure service industries, such as the telecommunication, financial, and utilities service industries.

The ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, publishes this report as a companion to its separate annual report, Shifts in U.S. Merchandise Trade, issued annually in July. Following are highlights of the report:

U.S. cross-border trade in services generated a $78 billion surplus in 2000, offsetting 17 percent of the U.S. merchandise trade deficit of $452 billion. In 2000, U.S. cross- border exports of services grew by 9 percent, faster than the average annual growth rate of 7 percent recorded during 1990-99. Imports increased by 16 percent in 2000, faster than the average annual growth rate of 7 percent registered during 1990-99.

Most service industries involved in cross-border trade recorded surpluses in 2000, notable exceptions being insurance, telecommunication, maritime transport, and environmental services. Trade surpluses were largest in audiovisual; education; and construction, engineering, and architectural services.

In 1999, U.S. majority-owned affiliates' sales of services in foreign markets amounted to $338 billion. Insurance, public utilities (e.g., electricity services), banking and securities, and computer and data processing services led among these sales. Purchases from foreign, majority-owned affiliates in the United States totalled $289 billion in 1999, an increase of 18 percent from the previous year.

In 2000, the U.S. direct investment position abroad in service industries totalled $795 billion, an increase of 10 percent over 1999, compared to the 17 percent average annual growth rate during 1995-99. This period witnessed particularly rapid growth in U.S. foreign direct investment in infrastructure services. Foreign direct investment in U.S. service industries amounted to $649 billion in 2000, an increase of 26 percent over the 1999 level.

The foregoing information is from the ITC report Recent Trends in U.S. Services Trade, 2002 Annual Report (Investigation No. 332-345, USITC publication 3514, May 2002). The report may be obtained from the ITC Internet site at ftp://ftp.usitc.gov/pub/reports/studies/PUB3514.PDF or by calling 202-205-1809, or by writing the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. Requests may also be made by fax to 202-205-2104.

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