Top US Imports in 2021 (2022)

The United States of America imported US$2.937 trillion worth of goods from around the globe in 2021. That dollar amount reflects a 22.1% gain since 2017 and a 22% uptick from 2020 to 2021.

From a continental perspective, 45.3% of America’s total imports by value in 2021 were purchased from providers in Asia. Fellow North American trade partners supplied 25.7% of import sales to the U.S. while 22.7% worth originated from Europe.

At 4.3%, suppliers from Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean accounted for a smaller percentage of American import purchases. Even smaller amounts came from Africa (1.6%) and Oceania (0.6%) led by Australia and New Zealand.

Given America’s population of 330.7 million people, its total $2.937 trillion in 2021 imports translates to roughly $8,900 in yearly product demand from each U.S. resident.

The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in America’s import purchases during 2021. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into the US.

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  1. Machinery including computers: US$428.8 billion (14.6% of total imports)
  2. Electrical machinery, equipment: $416 billion (14.2%)
  3. Vehicles: $283.1 billion (9.6%)
  4. Mineral fuels including oil: $223.9 billion (7.6%)
  5. Pharmaceuticals: $149.5 billion (5.1%)
  6. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $106.2 billion (3.6%)
  7. Gems, precious metals: $96 billion (3.3%)
  8. Plastics, plastic articles: $82.5 billion (2.8%)
  9. Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefabricated buildings: $81.4 billion (2.8%)
  10. Organic chemicals: $64.4 billion (2.2%)

The above product categories account for almost two-thirds (65.8%) of total US imports during 2021.

America’s imports of mineral fuels including oil posted the fastest-growing increase in value among the top 10 product categories, up 71.4% from 2020 to 2021. In second place were plastics as a material plus items made from plastics (up 32.3%), furniture, bedding, lighting, signs and prefabricated buildings (up 24.3%), electrical machinery and equipment (up 21.1%) and machinery including computers (up 18.7%).

The lone decline was the -10.3% drop for gems and precious metals, weighed down by lower spending on gold and silver from international markets.

Note that the results listed above are at the categorized two-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level. For a more detailed view of imported goods at the four-digit HTS code level, see the section Searchable List of America’s Most Valuable Import Products further down near the bottom of this article or under the adjacent product folder tabs.

Major US Imports of Machinery Products Including Computers

In 2021, American importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machinery including computers.

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  1. Computers, optical readers: US$118.2 billion (up 12.8% from 2020)
  2. Computer parts, accessories: $30.4 billion (up 28%)
  3. Turbo-jets: $19.7 billion (down -0.6%)
  4. Taps, valves, similar appliances: $15.7 billion (up 19%)
  5. Printing machinery: $15.4 billion (up 20.6%)
  6. Refrigerators, freezers: $14.2 billion (up 30.6%)
  7. Air or vacuum pumps: $13.7 billion (up 22%)
  8. Centrifuges, filters and purifiers: $12.9 billion (up 23.4%)
  9. Liquid pumps and elevators: $11.6 billion (up 19%)
  10. Air conditioners: $11.6 billion (up 29.9%)

Among these import subcategories, US purchases of refrigerators and freezers (up 30.6%), air conditioners (up 29.9%) then computer parts or accessories (up 28%) grew at the fastest pace from 2020 to 2021.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported machinery among U.S. businesses and consumers.

Major US Imports of Electronics Products

In 2021, American importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electronics equipment.

  1. Phone devices including smartphones: US$111.5 billion (up 17.6% from 2020)
  2. Integrated circuits/microassemblies: $41.3 billion (up 29.3%)
  3. TV receivers/monitors/projectors: $27.1 billion (up 21.9%)
  4. Insulated wire/cable: $24.9 billion (up 28.1%)
  5. Electrical converters/power units: $19 billion (up 17.8%)
  6. Unrecorded sound media: $17.1 billion (up 13.3%)
  7. Electric storage batteries: $15.2 billion (up 60.2%)
  8. Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels: $14.2 billion (up 14.7%)
  9. Solar power diodes/semi-conductors: $13.4 billion (up 1.3%)
  10. Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $12.6 billion (up 25%)

Among these import subcategories, US purchases of electric storage batteries (up 60.2%), integrated circuits or microassemblies (up 29.3%) then insulated wire or cable (up 28.1%) grew at the fastest pace from 2020 to 2021.

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These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported electronics among U.S. businesses and consumers.

Major US Imports of Vehicles Plus Related Products

In 2021, American importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of vehicles.

  1. Cars: US$148.1 billion (up 1.6% from 2020)
  2. Automobile parts/accessories: $74.1 billion (up 23.7%)
  3. Trucks: $31.1 billion (up 19.6%)
  4. Tractors: $13.1 billion (up 31.9%)
  5. Trailers: $5.2 billion (up 45%)
  6. Motorcycles: $3.6 billion (up 31.4%)
  7. Motorcycle parts/accessories: $2.2 billion (up 51.1%)
  8. Bicycles, other non-motorized cycles: $2.2 billion (up 43.5%)
  9. Special purpose vehicles: $884.3 million (down -2.3%)
  10. Automobile bodies: $595.7 million (down -10.6%)

Among these import subcategories, US purchases of motorcycle parts or accessories (up 51.1%), trailers (up 45%) then bicycles including other non-motorized cycles (up 43.5%) grew at the fastest pace from 2020 to 2021.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported vehicles among U.S. businesses and consumers.

Major US Imports of Mineral Fuels Plus Related Products

In 2021, American importers spent the most on the following subcategories of mineral fuels and related products.

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  1. Crude oil: US$138.4 billion (up 69.1% from 2020)
  2. Processed petroleum oils: $64.1 billion (up 75.9%)
  3. Petroleum gases: $14.3 billion (up 90.8%)
  4. Electrical energy: $2.6 billion (up 36.6%)
  5. Petroleum oil residues: $1.9 billion (up 73.3%)
  6. Peat: $590.8 million (up 29.7%)
  7. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $509.4 million (up 31.1%)
  8. Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $497.4 million (up 104.3%)
  9. Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $495.8 million (up 38.9%)
  10. Natural bitumen, asphalt, shale: $194.1 million (up 43.3%)

Among these import subcategories, US purchases of high temperature distilled coal tar oils (up 104.3%), petroleum gases (up 90.8%) then processed petroleum oils (up 75.9%) grew at the fastest pace from 2020 to 2021.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported pharmaceuticals among U.S. businesses and consumers.

Searchable List of America’s Most Valuable Import Products

The following searchable table displays 100 of America’s most in-demand imported goods during 2021. Shown beside each product label is its total import value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2020.

RankUS Import Product2021 Value (US$)Change
1Cars$148,145,016,000+1.6%
2Crude oil$138,383,896,000+69.1%
3Computers, optical readers$118,181,595,000+12.8%
4Phone devices including smartphones$111,542,529,000+17.6%
5Medication mixes in dosage$84,496,717,000+4.9%
6Automobile parts/accessories$74,076,623,000+23.7%
7Processed petroleum oils$64,097,849,000+75.9%
8Blood fractions (including antisera)$58,237,949,000+10.7%
9Integrated circuits/microassemblies$41,251,253,000+29.3%
10Miscellaneous furniture$31,995,488,000+23.9%
11Electro-medical equip (e.g. xrays)$31,990,525,000+17.1%
12Trucks$31,093,314,000+19.6%
13Computer parts, accessories$30,432,591,000+28%
14Seats (excluding barber/dentist chairs)$29,620,362,000+27.7%
15TV receivers/monitors/projectors$27,083,255,000+21.9%
16Insulated wire/cable$24,886,596,000+28.1%
17Diamonds (unmounted/unset)$20,225,107,000+62.1%
18Models, puzzles, miscellaneous toys$19,680,481,000+37.1%
19Turbo-jets$19,674,080,000-0.6%
20Electrical converters/power units$18,972,203,000+17.8%
21Platinum (unwrought)$18,351,775,000+62.6%
22Rubber tires (new)$17,185,930,000+22.2%
23Miscellaneous plastic items$17,115,005,000+20.9%
24Unrecorded sound media$17,102,421,000+13.3%
25Taps, valves, similar appliances$15,656,660,000+19%
26Jerseys, pullovers (knit or crochet)$15,531,768,000+33.6%
27Printing machinery$15,435,476,000+20.6%
28Electric storage batteries$15,171,875,000+60.2%
29Orthopedic appliances$14,426,755,000+20.4%
30Petroleum gases$14,295,833,000+90.8%
31Sawn wood$14,262,993,000+68.9%
32Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels$14,242,553,000+14.7%
33Refrigerators, freezers$14,161,523,000+30.6%
34Jewelry$14,078,606,000+82.9%
35Gold (unwrought)$13,891,967,000-59.9%
36Air or vacuum pumps$13,714,741,000+22%
37Solar power diodes/semi-conductors$13,435,911,000+1.3%
38Aircraft, spacecraft$13,192,484,000-3%
39Tractors$13,088,550,000+31.9%
40Sports equipment$13,082,745,000+50%
41Centrifuges, filters and purifiers$12,888,679,000+23.4%
42Lower-voltage switches, fuses$12,617,816,000+25%
43Table games, bowling equipment$12,461,378,000+51.6%
44Microphones/headphones/amps$12,317,363,000+38.1%
45Heterocyclics, nucleic acids$12,227,219,000-4.7%
46Electric water heaters, hair dryers$12,225,681,000+21.8%
47Aircraft parts$12,190,877,000-14.5%
48TV receiver/transmit/digital cameras$11,973,238,000+9.3%
49Lamps, lighting, illuminated signs$11,905,479,000+19.5%
50Liquid pumps and elevators$11,639,737,000+19%
51Air conditioners$11,615,151,000+29.9%
52Aluminum (unwrought)$11,538,566,000+65.7%
53Cases, handbags, wallets$11,529,439,000+37.5%
54Electrical machinery$11,500,533,000+38.6%
55Electric motors, generators$11,365,881,000+20.7%
56Crustaceans (including lobsters)$10,940,756,000+42.1%
57Footwear (leather)$10,931,159,000+29.1%
58Piston engines$10,886,139,000+7.8%
59Clothing, accessories (vulcanized rubber)$10,852,602,000+134.1%
60Alcohol (including spirits, liqueurs)$10,696,431,000+20.3%
61Piston engine parts$10,438,204,000+35.1%
62Miscellaneous machinery$10,354,237,000+22.6%
63Machinery parts$10,133,242,000+36%
64Transmission shafts, gears, clutches$10,041,524,000+22.9%
65Other precious metal items$9,786,029,000-62.8%
66Plastic packing goods, lids, caps$9,736,186,000+19.8%
67Footwear (textile)$9,507,924,000+33.3%
68Miscellaneous heterocyclics$9,260,090,000-9.2%
69Pneumatic hand tool$9,131,676,000+29.6%
70Machinery for making semi-conductors$9,042,604,000+11.3%
71Women's clothing (not knit or crochet)$9,029,365,000+18%
72Base metal mountings, fittings$8,752,440,000+24.5%
73Refined copper, unwrought alloys$8,657,676,000+105%
74Plastic tableware, kitchenware, toiletry$8,548,095,000+28.5%
75Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries$7,817,109,000+21.3%
76Physical/chemical analysis tools$7,592,393,000+16.2%
77Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers)$7,583,819,000+35.9%
78Linens$7,568,371,000+37.8%
79Men's suits, trousers (not knit or crochet)$7,512,890,000+30.8%
80Miscellaneous articles, dress patterns$7,510,681,000-63.5%
81Fish fillets, pieces$7,472,339,000+22.5%
82Other food preparations$7,413,250,000+12.7%
83T-shirts, vests (knit or crochet)$7,378,077,000+44.9%
84Wine$7,375,681,000+25.5%
85Women's clothing (knit or crochet)$6,928,804,000+39.5%
86Coffee$6,920,018,000+21.9%
87Silver (unwrought)$6,687,742,000+13%
88Malt beer$6,626,085,000+10.9%
89Iron and steel screws, bolts, nuts, washers$6,587,396,000+30.2%
90Electrical lighting/signaling equpment, defrosters$6,586,575,000+19.8%
91Miscellaneous engines, motors$6,574,574,000+3.1%
92Temperature-change machines$6,479,854,000+22.3%
93Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$6,468,261,000+22.9%
94Miscellaneous iron or steel items$6,409,544,000+28.7%
95Other diagnostic/lab reagents$6,362,888,000+18.9%
96Footwear (rubber or plastic)$6,351,326,000+36.4%
97Miscellaneous iron and steel structures$6,263,476,000+15.6%
98Hand-drawn paintings, drawings$6,165,868,000+67.9%
99Ethylene polymers$6,143,829,000+67.5%
100Mechano-therapy appliances$6,098,755,000+11.2%

These 100 imported goods were worth a subtotal of US$1.942 trillion or about two-thirds (66.1%) by value for all products imported into the United States during 2021.

See also United States Top 10 Exports, America’s Top Trading Partners, Top United States Trade Balances and America’s Top 20 Export States and United States Top 10 Major Export Companies

(Video) Comparison: Major U.S. Imports 🚚

Research Sources:
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles. Accessed on March 10, 2022

International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on March 10, 2022

FAQs

Top US Imports in 2021? ›

United States Top 10 Imports
  • Machinery including computers: US$428.8 billion (14.6% of total imports)
  • Electrical machinery, equipment: $416 billion (14.2%)
  • Vehicles: $283.1 billion (9.6%)
  • Mineral fuels including oil: $223.9 billion (7.6%)
  • Pharmaceuticals: $149.5 billion (5.1%)
Mar 8, 2022

What is the leading import of the United States 2021? ›

Imports The top imports of United States are Cars ($144B), Computers ($92.4B), Packaged Medicaments ($84.1B), Broadcasting Equipment ($82B), and Crude Petroleum ($75.1B), importing mostly from China ($438B), Mexico ($326B), Canada ($264B), Germany ($116B), and Japan ($112B).

What are the current top U.S. imports? ›

What is the US number 1 import? ›

Petroleum is the most popular import in 12 states, making it the most common import across America.

What are the top 3 exports of the United States in 2021? ›

America's 5 biggest export products by value in 2021 were refined petroleum oils, crude oil, petroleum gases, cars and electronic integrated circuits. In aggregate, those major exported goods accounted for 18.8% of overall exports sold by the United States.

What does US import from Russia? ›

The top import categories (2-digit HS) in 2019 were: mineral fuels ($13 billion), precious metal and stone (platinum) ($2.2 billion), iron and steel ($1.4 billion), fertilizers ($963 million), and inorganic chemicals ($763 million). U.S. total imports of agricultural products from Russia totaled $69 million in 2019.

What does US import from Ukraine? ›

In 2019, of the $1.3 billion in U.S. imports from Ukraine, the top commodity sectors were Base metals (59.0%), Agriculture products (12.0%), and Machinery and Mechanical Appliances (9.5%).

What food does the US import the most? ›

American diet includes many high-value imported products

Over 95 percent of coffee/cocoa/spices and fish/shellfish products consumed in the United States are imported, as are about half of fresh fruits and fruit juices and almost a third of wine and sugar.

Where does the US import the most from? ›

The top five suppliers of U.S. goods imports in 2019 were: China ($452 billion), Mexico ($358 billion), Canada ($319 billion), Japan ($144 billion), and Germany ($128 billion). U.S. goods imports from the European Union 27 were $515 billion. The United States is the largest services exporter in the world.

What is the US #1 export? ›

All figures are based are on U.S. Census Bureau data for 2017. Transportation equipment was the top commodity exported by the US last year, accounting for almost 18% of the country's total exports. This category includes aerospace products and parts, motor vehicles, railroad stock, and ships and boats.

What products does the USA import? ›

The United States is the world's second biggest importer. Main imports are: capital goods (22 percent) and consumer goods (21 percent). Others include: automotive vehicles, parts and engines (12 percent) and foods, feeds and beverages (5 percent).

Who does the US trade with the most 2021? ›

Who Does the U.S. Trade Most With? In 2021, U.S trade of goods amounted to nearly $4.6 trillion and Canada, Mexico, and China were America's largest trading partners.

What does the USA import? ›

The United States is the world's second biggest importer. Main imports are: capital goods (22 percent) and consumer goods (21 percent). Others include: automotive vehicles, parts and engines (12 percent) and foods, feeds and beverages (5 percent).

What is the US #1 export? ›

All figures are based are on U.S. Census Bureau data for 2017. Transportation equipment was the top commodity exported by the US last year, accounting for almost 18% of the country's total exports. This category includes aerospace products and parts, motor vehicles, railroad stock, and ships and boats.

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