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A Wealth of Data

Tue Jan 26 2010
Mala Mistry
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When I first started working in the Data Dissemination branch, I couldn’t believe how much trade data we had on our site. I wish I knew about it when I had research projects in college! Trade data can be used by a variety of different people and in numerous ways. We’re willing to help anyone who calls or emails us with a request. We’ll help with anything from navigating the Foreign Trade website to creating a customized report.

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When I get a request, the first place I usually direct people is the ‘data’ tab. From there you can go to our press releases, which include:

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  • U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services
  • Steel Imports
  • Related Party Trade

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…just to name a few. The first release, the U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services, is the most extensive and usually the most useful to data users. There are a number of things you can find in this release, including the U.S. trade balance, exports and imports broken down by commodity and services categories, and exports and imports of goods by country.

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In addition to our releases, we offer other data products in our Product Trade section, a few of which are interactive. We have trade by country, trade with Puerto Rico and U.S. Possessions, and data by various commodity classification codes. A popular one among these is the NAICS web application. NAICS is the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and is used across federal agencies for “statistical data related to the U.S. economy”. Using this tool, you can pick a country or a NAICS commodity grouping you are interested in and view its export and import figures.

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These tools are all very valuable, but my personal favorite is a subscription-based site, USA Trade Online. This is our most interactive application because you can customize and save your report according to the dimensions you need. You can choose whether you want exports or imports, countries, U.S. ports, time periods (monthly, annual and year-to-date), and commodities. You can also create reports using state export data and NAICS. Once you have the data organized in a table, you can download the report to your computer in multiple file formats including Comma & Semicolon-Delimited ASCII (.csv), XML Spreadsheet (.xml), and Excel Spreadsheet (.xls). Look through USA Trade Online’s Free Demo and see for yourself!

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This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what we have. Visit our site to learn about the many other products and services we offer. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, contact us and we will help you find it!

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