International trade represents a growing share of the U.S. economy over the past three decades. Total trade value (exports plus imports) as a ratio to GDP increased from about 10 percent in 1970 to 24 percent in 2001. Changes in the level of both imports and exports affect the level of demand for transportation services. The value of U.S. imports historically have been higher than the value of U.S. exports, but the gap has widened in recent years.
|U.S. International Trade In Goods||Aug-02||Sep-02|
|Imports (millions of dollars)||100,615||100,145|
|Imports percent change from previous month||2.52||-0.47|
|Exports (millions of dollars)||58,278||58,344|
|Exports percent change from previous month||-1.40||0.11|
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Foreign Trade Division data, available at: http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/www/statistics.html.