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Commodity Spotlight: U.S. Military Exports

Wed Dec 18 2013
Chuck Avery
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One interesting aspect of U.S. trade is the export of military goods.* This trade increased over the last decade from $8.3 billion in 2002 to a peak value of $18.8 billion in 2012. Note that this does not include shipments to the U.S. military overseas. Most U.S. exports of military goods went to Asia, primarily Japan and South Korea.

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Source: USA Trade Online

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Last year, 70% of U.S. exports of military goods were related to military aircraft—fighter jets, helicopters, engines, launching gear, and above all, aircraft parts. In fact, at 35% of all U.S. military exports in 2012, the export value for military aircraft parts exceeded the export value for intact aircraft.

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The large portion of spare parts in U.S. military exports is one surprise. Another is that if aircraft-related exports are excluded, the biggest U.S. military export is guided missiles.** Nearly $1.2 billion in guided missiles left the U.S. in 2012. This total was topped in the first three months of 2013, with $1.4 billion sent abroad, most of it exported to the United Arab Emirates and Taiwan.

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Source: USA Trade Online

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Want to know more about U.S. exports of military goods? Check out USA Trade Online for more detailed information.

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*Military goods are those classified under end-use code 50, for “military-type goods.” See the exports concordance for a complete list.

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**As classified by ten-digit Schedule B commodity classification for 2012 exports. In this case the ten-digit Schedule B for guided missiles is 9306900020.

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