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Importance of the G20 on U.S. Trade

The G20 Summit begins today in Pittsburgh, bringing together some of the world's most powerful political figures to discuss policies ranging from ways to prevent another financial meltdown to initiatives on climate change.

Among the main issues on the agenda, trade relations are expected to take center stage during the two-day meeting. Growing concerns over the U.S. federal deficit, which stood at a record $455 billion last year, along with new provisions on tariffs and a sharp decline in the value of the U.S. dollar this year, could set the tone for a heated debate.

Indeed, G20 nations comprise about 80 percent of all world trade; but just how important is the role of United States?

The following statistics provide a look on where the United States stands in relations to its largest trading partners.

  • G-20 Trade with the U.S. accounts for about 82% of total U.S. international trade (all trade data as of July 2009)
  • As a percent of total import and export dollars, Canada is the U.S. number one single trading partner year-to-date, accounting for 16.4% in 2009 to date; the E.U. as a whole accounts for 20%
  • The largest trade imbalance among U.S. trading partners belongs to China, with U.S. imports representing 81.7% of trade between the two nations
  • The largest net importers of U.S.-made goods are the E.U., Canada, and Mexico
  • Conversely, the U.S. imports the most from the E.U., China, and Canada
  • The U.S. Trade balance this year is positive for only five G-20 nations: Australia, Brazil, Turkey, United Kingdom, Argentina
  • Among the G-20 members, the U.S. dollar has depreciated the most against the Brazilian real
  • The greenback has appreciated the most versus the Argentine peso

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