Global Trade

Shifting Trade Winds: Changes to US and EU Manufacturing Imports

The newly published OECD Economic Outlook provides an analysis of changing dynamics in global manufacturing trade highlighting diverging patterns in US and EU manufacturing imports with respect to imports from China.

From 2018 to 2022, China’s share of U.S. manufactured imports dropped from 25% to 19%, influenced by new tariffs on Chinese exports. Despite this, other Asian economies have mostly balanced out China’s declining share.

Contrary to developments in the US, China’s share of extra-EU manufactured goods imports has steadily increased from 26% in 2018 to 33% in 2022. Meanwhile, the share of imports from non-Asian locations, particularly other OECD Europe countries and North America, has declined. Extra-EU manufacturing imports refers to goods that is coming into the EU from non-EU sources. In other words, the EU is considered as a single trading entity and import flows are measured into the area, but not within it.

Notes on the chart legend: OECD Asia includes Japan and Korea; Dynamic Asian economies include Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong (China), Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam; USMCA includes the United States, Mexico and Canada. Other OECD Europe includes Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Türkiye and the United Kingdom.

The US chart is based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), which includes food, beverages and fuel. The EU chart is based on the Eurostat Standard Industry Trade Classification (SITC), which does not include food, beverages and fuel.

In the extra-EU chart, “industrial machinery” is listed twice in the source data and visual – both are included in the chart.

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