Here you have the evolution of the U.S. foreign trade of goods according to the World Trade Organization.

In 1970 USA exported more than $43 billion and imported more than $42 billion.

In 2005 the american exports were around $904 billion and the imports were about $1,732 billion. The trade surplus of 1970 became a huge deficit 35 years later.

You can compare USA with two trade rivals: Germany and Japan.

In 1970 Germany exported about $34 billion and imported almost $30 billion. The german trade superavit was more than $4 billion. The same year the japanese exports were more than $19 billion and the imports were almost $19 billion.

In 2005 the german exports reached almost $970 billion and the imports were almost $774 billion. The same year Japan exported almost $595 billion and imported almost $515 billion.

The german trade surplus in goods was about $196 billion in 2005. The japanese one was around $80 billion the same year.

You can also see that in 1970 U.S. exported about 26% more than Germany. In 2005 german exports were higher than those of United States although Germany had less than 28% of the population of United States and less than 4% of its area.

Here you have indicators of other countries that have reached a certain level of economic development.

In 2005 Chile exported more than 40 billion and got a surplus of around $8 billion.

South Korea exported more than $284 billion and its trade surplus was more than $23 billion in 2005.

Taiwan exported more than $197 billion and its trade superavit was around $15 billion.

Although these countries do not have an output per head as high as that of United States I can´t deny that they have had a considerable growth the last decades.

Chile increased its exports considerably during the Pinochet years. With democracy its foreign trade grew even more.

South Korea and Taiwan, two tigers of economic growth in Asia, were miserable countries a few decades ago. Today, their exports of goods per head are higher than those of U.S.

The exports were one of the engines of growth for these nations. All the economies that want to grow faster try to export more.

U.S. must correct its trade balance or in a not so far future its economy could suffer the consequences of this mistake.

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