Friday, 16 July 2010

US-India Trade and Economic Relationship

Some graphs, charts, data sources and other information regarding India-US bilateral trade and economic relationship.

1. Chart of 2009 US goods trade deficits:

Data Source pdf file:

2. Chart that compares 1992-2008 US services trade with all countries vs that with India:

Data Source, BEA. Excel file:

3. (Added on: 8/1/2010). Chart of US trade deficits (combined goods and services trade) with China, India, Africa (similar development status as India, and comparable population to India and China), and the rest of the world combined.

Data for 2009 (source:

2009 US Trade and Trade Deficits (billion USD)
Combined Goods and Services Trade

Total: Exports $1,570.8 bn, Imports $1,945.7 bn. Trade Deficit $374.9

China: Exports 86.0 bn, Imports 305.4 bn. Trade deficit: 219.4 bn (58.5% of total deficit)

Africa: Exports 35.7 bn, Imports 70.1 bn. Trade Deficit: 34.4 bn (9.17%)

India: Exports 26.5 bn, Imports 33.7 bn. Trade Deficit: 7.2 bn (1.92%)

Rest of the World: Exports 1,422.6 bn, Imports 1,536.5 bn. Trade Deficit: 114.0 bn (30.4%)

Approximate 2009 populations: China 1.35 billion, India 1.2 billion, Africa 1 billion, Rest of the World (approx. 3 bn, not including US' 300 million.)

4. Table of 2008 US Direct Investment position abroad (data units: millions of USD):
From the table below, India's share of USDI: 16.1 bn/ 3,162 bn = 0.5% (50c for every $100 of US investments abroad)

Source, BEA: (see Table 8.3 in the pdf)

5. Table of 2008 FDI flow into the US (data units: millions of USD):

Source, BEA. pdf: (see Table 8.3)

Put together, these establish that the trade and economic relationship between the US and India is small, fairly balanced within that, and mutually beneficial.


Useful Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) resources that have an extensive collection of data on US international accounts:
-- International Economic Accounts Main page.
-- detailed and interactive tables: U.S. International Transactions Accounts Data.


The following recent study discusses how the US benefits from its economic relationship with India.

How America benefits by bonding with India: a study by Prof. Vinod Jain (U. of Md.) and Kamlesh Jain. Tiny URL:
Rediff article on the study. Tiny URL:

From the rediff article:

The popular perception is that companies in India [ Images ] are taking jobs away from Americans but the numbers on the ground tell a different story.

In the last five years alone, 90 Indian companies have created 16,576 jobs in the US by investing $5.5 billion in new companies and saved over 40,000 jobs by making 372 acquisitions and investing $21 billion (for 272 deals).
Between 2004 and 2009, US exports to India grew 269 per cent, while India's exports to that country grew 136 per cent. US exports to India have grown faster than exports to all other countries. In 2009, India was United States' 17th largest goods export market, and 15th largest supplier of goods imported into the US. Interestingly, in the 1700s, America traded more with India than with all of Europe combined.

The US exports high-tech products such as aircraft, electrical machinery, optic and surgical instruments, chemicals, plastics, pharmaceuticals, vehicles, and railway stock and traffic signal equipment. With the US-India civilian nuclear agreement, US exports to India are likely to grow even faster in the coming years, creating more jobs in the US.

Just manufactured exports to India were linked to 96,000 manufacturing and non-manufacturing jobs in the US in 2009, the study estimates. These numbers do not include agricultural, mining, and services exports, which have their own implications for jobs in the US. For instance, in 2007, the US exported services worth $9.4 billion to India, compared to the goods worth $15 billion that are the focus of this study.

The 2.57 million Indian-Americans also contribute to the US economy and society in many ways. According to a recent survey by the US Census Bureau, there were 231,000 businesses owned by Indian Americans in 2002, which employed 615,000 workers and generated over $89 billion in revenues. Indian immigrant entrepreneurs have founded more engineering and technology companies during 1995-2005 than immigrants from Britain, China, Japan, and Taiwan combined.


This study by a Harvard professor (William Kerr) and a U. of Mich professor (William Lincoln) shows that Indians contributed a far larger (about 5x-10x) share of US domestic technology patents than their population in the US (which, including temporary visa workers from India, has been in the 0.5% to 1% range during the period studied):