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The US plastics industry is one of the US economy’s largest and fastest growing industries that has made strong recovery after the global recession in 2008 – 2009. Today, there are over 16,000 plastics facilities in the U.S. in all 50 states, the industry employs more than 1.7 million people and achieved a record of $583.7 billion in shipments in 2015, reported by the Society of the Plastics Industry. Plastics shipments in the US have seen 11.5% since 2012, making it the third largest manufacturing sector in the US behind the petroleum and automotive industries and ahead of basic chemicals. Due to growing competition, businesses are using networking websites like BizHub’s Plastics industry section to find quality business partners. So whether you are looking for importers, exporters or manufactures there is a place for you to start on BizHub.
The U.S. plastics industry is a major participant in world trade. The country’s deficit in plastic products increased from $6.1 billion in 2013 to $6.8 billion in 2014, up by 12.1% — mostly because of the improving economy in the U.S. compared to the rest of the world. Other key facts about imports and exports of the US Plastics Industry include:
Driving the export increase was the mold market, with a 4.5% improvement in its trade deficit at $1.1 billion for 2014. The U.S. plastics machinery industry also reduced its deficit, registering a $1.2 billion trade deficit in 2014, which was a 5.2 % decrease on the year.
Mexico and Canada remain as the U.S. plastics industry’s largest export markets with $15.8 billion and $13.2 billion worth of exports, respectively, according to SPI’s 2015 Global Business Trends report. China is the third largest export market for the US plastics industry, though overall, the U.S. had its largest trade deficit with China at $9.2 billion in 2014.
In 2014, the top 5 US’ trading partners with the biggest plastics trading surplus are Mexico ($11.1 billion in surpluses), Belgium ($1.9 billion surpluses), Brazil ($1.9 billion surpluses), Hong Kong ($1.1 billion surpluses), Canada ($0.9 billion surpluses).
Meanwhile the top 5 trading partners with the largest plastics trading deficit in 2014 are China ($9.2 billion in deficit), Germany ($2.2 billion deficit), Taiwan ($1 billion deficit), Japan ($0.8 billion deficit), Italy ($0.5 billion deficit).
The plastics industry in the US as well as the worldwide plastics market are both expected to continue booming over the next few years, driven mainly by growing usage in transportation, healthcare and packaging end markets, according to SPI. The low cost of natural gas and oil in the U.S. compared to other regions, has driven down the cost of doing business in the United States for the plastics industry, making the US a more competitive player in the global plastics market.
The US’ plastics’ trade balance is expected to perform better in near future with more trade agreements. The passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the U.S. Congress would also further improve those positions and trade balances.