This report is the 24th in a series of annual reports on recent trends in U.S. services trade that the U.S. International Trade Commission (Commission or USITC) has published. The Commission also publishes an annual companion report on U.S. trade in goods, Shifts in U.S. Merchandise Trade. These recurring reports are the products of an investigation instituted by the Commission in 1993 under section 332(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930.1 This report is one of the regular publications by the Commission that presents expert analysis of trade in services industries. It draws on fieldwork as well as published sources to apprise the Commission’s customers and the public of global industry trends, regional developments, and competitiveness issues.
The United States remained the world’s largest services exporter and importer in 2018. U.S. crossborder services exports totaled $827.0 billion in 2018, or 14 percent of global services exports, while imports were $567.3 billion (10 percent). Given the inherently local nature of many services—they often require local in-person delivery and/or provision by locally regulated entities—U.S. trade in services through foreign affiliate sales is consistently larger than U.S. cross-border trade in services. Sales by foreign affiliates of U.S. services firms (referred to here as affiliate sales) totaled $1.558 trillion in 2017 (the latest year available), while purchases from the U.S. affiliates of foreign-owned services firms (referred to affiliate purchases) totaled $1.1 trillion.
This report begins with an overview of services trade in all sectors. Its primary focus, however, is developments in U.S. trade in financial services, which are detailed in three chapters that describe trends in banking, insurance, and securities services.pub5094
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