Overall and modal trade totals cited here are based on annual data reported by the Foreign Trade Division of the U.S. Census Bureau in FT920 U.S. Merchandise Trade: Selected Highlights (December 1999), U.S. Exports of Merchandise CD (December 1999), and U.S. Imports of Merchandise CD (December 1999). The U.S. Census Bureau also annually revises overall and country totals appearing in these products, which are then used by the U.S. Census Bureau and other federal agencies.
Accurately calculating the modal share of U.S. international trade for all transportation modes (including disaggregated land modes) was not possible until 1997 because of past collecting and processing methods. Modal data are not corrected in the revised figures provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. Therefore, this section relies on both the overall and mode of transportation data in the originally documented merchandise trade figures as cited in the report and CDs mentioned above.
Thus, this section on U.S. international trade analyzes changes between 1997 and 2000. At the same time, longer term trends are also noted and different reference years shown where necessary. Unless otherwise noted, the value of U.S. merchandise imports is based on U.S. general imports, customs value basis. Export value is f.a.s. (free alongside ship) and represents domestic and foreign exports valued at the port of exit (including the transaction price, inland freight, insurance, and other charges).