Key Points

  • U.S. total bilateral trade (goods and services) with India was $126 billion in 2017, up 10.4% from $114.2 billion level in 2016. Bilateral trade witnessed an average 5.6% annual growth rate for the previous five years.
  • U.S. exports of goods and services to India totaled $48.8 billion in 2017, registering a phenomenal 15.5% increase from the 2016 level of $42.2 billion; total imports from India, at $77.2 billion, rose 7.4% from $71.9 billion in 2016.
  • Total exports growth rate (i.e., 15.5% in 2017) more than trebled from the average export growth rate of 4.8% achieved for the previous 5 years while total imports growth rate (i.e., 7.4% in 2017) increased from the average import growth rate of 5.2%.

The following observations are drawn from these trends:

  • The U.S.-India relationship is at its highest point currently with both economies witnessing positive growths in their bilateral trade engagement. The trade relationship appears to be pacing towards a relatively balanced trade trajectory.
  • A significant growth rate in US exports of goods and services, coupled with a relatively lower growth rate in imports, has resulted in a 4.2% reduction in trade deficit (to $28.4 billion) from the 2016 level of approximately $29.7 billio
  • USISPF estimates that by 2021, bilateral trade may cross $210 billion and the U.S. trade deficit with India may drop to circa $12 billion if annual average export growth rate at 20% and annual average import growth rate at 10% are maintained, given huge impending deals in aerospace, and petroleum & gas between the two economies.

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Trade Balance

Trade in Goods

Total bilateral trade in goods grew 9.7% to $74.3 billion in 2017 over the 2016 level, with $25.7 billion worth US exports to India and $48.6 billion imports from India. U.S. goods exports witnessed an impressive 18.8% growth while imports of goods from India rose 5.4% from the 2016 level. As a result, goods trade deficit with India diminished 6.4% to $22.9 billion in 2017 from the previous year’s $24.5 billion.

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U.S. Exports to India

India was the 15th largest goods export market for U.S. exporters in 2017. The U.S. exports were $25.7 billion in 2017, up 18.8% from the 2016 level of $21.7 billion. This is the highest annual growth rate on record in US exports to India for more than a decade. U.S. merchandise exports to India accounted for 1.7% of overall U.S. exports in 2017.

The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2017 were: precious metal and stone (diamonds) ($7.0 billion), mineral fuels ($2.8 billion), aerospace ($2.1 billion), machinery ($2.1 billion), and optical and medical instruments ($1.4 billion).

In 201,7 the U.S. sales of aerospace products more than doubled to $2.14 billion from $1.04 billion in 2016.

U.S. exports of services to India were $23.2 billion in 2017, 12% more than the 2016 level.

U.S. Imports from India

India was the United States’ 11th largest supplier of goods imports in 2017. U.S. goods imports from India totaled $48.6 billion in 2017, up 5% from 2016. U.S. imports from India account for 2.1% of overall U.S. imports in 2017.

The top import categories (2-digit HS) in 2017 were: precious metal and stone (diamonds) ($10.6 billion), pharmaceuticals ($6.3 billion), mineral fuels ($2.7 billion), machinery ($2.64 billion), and miscellaneous textile articles ($2.6 billion).

U.S. imports of services from India were $28.7 billion in 2017, 11.1% more than the 2016 level.

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