As you might expect, the United States is second only to China when it comes to exporting manufactured goods to other countries around the world. Our government has worked hard to create lucrative trade routes that allow businesses to target consumers all over the world. With that in mind, there are certain countries where U.S. products are in higher demand. For companies looking to export products and wondering where to start, these countries provide the perfect place to begin the research process.
- Canada – Our neighbor to the north is a big fan of U.S. exports. Most exports to Canada are tied to the automotive industry with medical and technical equipment and large aircraft also contributing to the strong trade relationship between these two powerhouses.
- Mexico – It comes as a surprise to some that Mexico imports more American goods than China or Japan, but Mexico represents a major market for machinery, electronics and automotive goods. Small businesses also tend to perform well with Mexican consumers and a strong trade relationship makes it relatively easy to move products over the border.
- China – As the most populous country in the world, China buys a lot of computer parts, but American businesses also sell plenty of product directly to retailers and consumers. If you have products that aren’t used during the course of manufacturing, but go directly into the hands or end users, China is a prime market to consider.
- Japan – Also represents a market with plenty of room for small businesses to market directly consumers. Overall, the bulk of exports to Japan include electronic equipment.
- United Kingdom – The UK is another major consumer of American aircraft, but they also purchase plenty of manufacturing goods, electronics and pharmaceuticals.
The Next Steps to Choosing Your Market for U.S. Exports
While these countries provide a good place to start when it comes to deciding where you should be focusing your export efforts, the next step would be to actually visit one or more of these countries to explore the markets firsthand. This might be an expensive undertaking for some small businesses, but it can be well-worth the investment of time and money. No matter how much research you do, it won’t compare to actually having boots on the ground.
Take advantage of Trade Fairs
Don’t assume that you are all on your own when it comes to connecting with distributors or sales agents. There are already people out there looking to form partnerships with companies who want to establish new sales routes. Trade fairs are an excellent way to meet with buyers and create a professional network. Best of all, there are grants available to help cover the cost of traveling to these fairs and exhibiting your products. Other countries and business people are just as eager to explore the potential of your products as you are to open new sales avenues.
As discussed in previous posts, choosing the right market is an important part of expanding into the export business. The top five export countries listed above provide a good starting point, but don’t hesitate to expand your search and explore places that may represent untapped markets for U.S. exports.