United States Top 100 Imported Consumer Products

In 2021, the United States’ 100 most valuable imported consumer products generated a total US$1.473 trillion in spending on international markets.

That dollar amount represents 50.1% of the overall value of all US imported goods ($2.937 trillion). That percentage reflects a slight decrease from 50.3% worth of consumer products purchased in 2020.

The 5 most valuable consumer products imported into the United States during 2021 were cars, computers, mobile phones, medication mixes in doses and automobile parts or accessories.

The total dollar amount for America’s top 100 imported consumer products increased by 17.8% from 2020 to 2021, less than the overall 22% expansion for all US imported goods for the year.

America’s purchases of imported products–both overall and consumer–far outpaced the global average decline of -8.2% from 2019 to 2020 for all importing countries.

Among the top 100 consumer products imported by the US, 95 increased in total spending from 2020 to 2021.

The 5 declining US consumer imports were miscellaneous items made from textiles (down -63.5%), miscellaneous items clad with precious metals (down -62.8%), gold (down -59.9%), felt clothing plus other non-woven garments (down -52.2%) and tomatoes (down -0.2%). Changes in American consumer demand for essential imports offer future opportunities for international suppliers who correctly anticipate which upward or downward trends will continue.

Consumer Products Defined

Economics educator BoyceWire defines a consumer product as a final good or end product that a business creates for consumers to buy. For example, consumers often purchase refined petroleum oil at the gas station while imported crude oil is an intermediate good subject to further processing before being sold to end users.

Although there may be a few wealthy individual buyers, products like turbojets are excluded from the consumer products targeted by this study. That is because turbojets are usually purchased by corporations. In contrast, it is common for a consumer to buy a motorcycle.

Types of Consumer Products

This article focuses on 3 distinct consumer product types.

Convenience Products are easy to access, non-durable, have relatively lower prices and therefore consumers frequently purchase them. Examples of convenience products are food, alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks, and soap.

Shopping Products are not as easily available, involve more time to make a buying decision, are durable and are not bought as often as most convenience products. A great example of a shopping product is a mobile phone where buying the wrong model is a much more expensive mistake than buying a disappointing loaf of bread.

Specialty Products describe another consumer product type. This grey area includes infrequently purchased, expensive, durable and sometimes rare items. Consumers may consider the product’s brand image when making their purchase decisions. Some examples of speciality products are gold, silver, diamonds, jewelry, and branded refrigerators and dishwashers.

US Consumer Imports Smart List

The searchable marketing intelligence table below showcases America’s 100 highest-value imported consumer products in descending order. Items were selected at the four-digit Harmonized System tariff classification code level.

The table’s fifth column identifies each entry’s consumer product type.

The most popular product type is shopping products (SD) led by cars, computers, mobile phones then automobile parts or accessories. Shopping products represent almost half (49) of America’s top 100 imported consumer goods.

In second place via 26 entries are convenience products (CP) led by medication mixes in dosage, processed petroleum oils, miscellaneous items made from plastics like plastic food utensils, petroleum gas and sports equipment.

Close behind are speciality products (SY) with 25 leading entries. Examples of major speciality products are American imports of unmounted diamonds, electric storage batteries, refrigerators or freezers, jewelry and gold.

#Imported ProductUS$YOY 
1Cars$148,145,016,000+1.6%SP
2Computers, optical readers$118,181,595,000+12.8%SP
3Phone devices including smartphones$111,542,529,000+17.6%SP
4Medications$84,496,717,000+4.9%CP
5Automobile parts/accessories$74,076,623,000+23.7%SP
6Processed petroleum oils$64,097,849,000+75.9%CP
7Miscellaneous furniture$31,995,488,000+23.9%SP
8Trucks$31,093,314,000+19.6%SP
9Computer parts, accessories$30,432,591,000+28%SP
10Seats (not barber/dentist chairs)$29,620,362,000+27.7%SP
11Insulated wire/cable$24,886,596,000+28.1%SP
12Diamonds (unmounted/unset)$20,225,107,000+62.1%SY
13Miscellaneous toys$19,680,481,000+37.1%SP
14Electrical converters/power units$18,972,203,000+17.8%SP
15Rubber tires (new)$17,185,930,000+22.2%SP
16Miscellaneous plastic items$17,115,005,000+20.9%CP
17Unrecorded sound media$17,102,421,000+13.3%SP
18Jerseys, pullovers (knit or crochet)$15,531,768,000+33.6%SP
19Printing machinery$15,435,476,000+20.6%SP
20Electric storage batteries$15,171,875,000+60.2%SY
21Orthopedic appliances$14,426,755,000+20.4%SP
22Petroleum gas$14,295,833,000+90.8%CP
23Refrigerators, freezers$14,161,523,000+30.6%SY
24Jewelry$14,078,606,000+82.9%SY
25Gold (unwrought)$13,891,967,000-59.9%SY
26Tractors$13,088,550,000+31.9%SP
27Sports equipment$13,082,745,000+50%CP
28Lower-voltage switches, fuses$12,617,816,000+25%SP
29Video console games, table games$12,461,378,000+51.6%SP
30Microphones/headphones/amps$12,317,363,000+38.1%SP
31Electric water heaters, hair dryers$12,225,681,000+21.8%SY
32Liquid pumps$11,639,737,000+19%SY
33Air conditioners$11,615,151,000+29.9%SY
34Cases, handbags, wallets$11,529,439,000+37.5%SP
35Electric motors, not generating sets$11,365,881,000+20.7%SY
36Crustaceans (including lobsters)$10,940,756,000+42.1%CP
37Footwear (leather)$10,931,159,000+29.1%SP
38Vulcanized rubber apparel$10,852,602,000+134.1%SP
39Alcohol (including spirits, liqueurs)$10,696,431,000+20.3%CP
40Miscellaneous items of precious metals$9,786,029,000-62.8%SP
41Plastic packing goods, lids, caps$9,736,186,000+19.8%CP
42Footwear (textile)$9,507,924,000+33.3%SP
43Women's clothing (not knit/crochet)$9,029,365,000+18%SP
44Household base metal mountings$8,752,440,000+24.5%SY
45Plastic wares (table, kitchen, toiletry)$8,548,095,000+28.5%CP
46Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries$7,817,109,000+21.3%CP
47Linens$7,568,371,000+37.8%SP
48Men's suits (unknit/non-crochet)$7,512,890,000+30.8%SP
49Miscellaneous textile items$7,510,681,000-63.5%SP
50Fish fillets, pieces$7,472,339,000+22.5%CP
51Miscellaneous food preparations$7,413,250,000+12.7%CP
52T-shirts, vests (knit or crochet)$7,378,077,000+44.9%SP
53Wine $7,375,681,000+25.5%CP
54Women's clothing (knit or crochet)$6,928,804,000+39.5%SP
55Coffee$6,920,018,000+21.9%CP
56Silver (unwrought)$6,687,742,000+13%SY
57Malt beer$6,626,085,000+10.9%CP
58Screws, bolts, washers, hooks, pins$6,587,396,000+30.2%SP
59Temperature-change machines$6,479,854,000+22.3%SY
60Miscellaneous iron or steel items$6,409,544,000+28.7%SP
61Footwear (rubber or plastic)$6,351,326,000+36.4%SP
62Hand-drawn paintings, drawings$6,165,868,000+67.9%SY
63Mattresses, quilts$6,059,002,000+21.9%SP
64Iron/steel stoves, barbecues$5,738,917,000+37.2%SY
65Beauty/makeup/skin care$5,557,871,000+23.9%SY
66Dishwash, clean/dry/fill machines $5,473,901,000+20.3%SY
67Plastic tile or roll coverings$5,414,826,000+26.4%SP
68Carnival items, magic tricks$5,219,069,000+31.2%SY
69Trailers$5,192,071,000+45%SP
70Miscellaneous fruits (fresh)$5,013,362,000+19.5%CP
71Fresh or chilled beef$4,974,106,000+32.7%CP
72Dates/pineapples/mango/avocado$4,902,883,000+19.9%CP
73Iron/steel tables, household items$4,837,689,000+35%SP
74Vulcanized rubber items$4,764,257,000+24.6%SP
75Hot-rolled iron/non-alloy steel items$4,493,727,000+278.3%SP
76Liquid crystal/laser/optical tools$4,359,467,000+20.2%SY
77Other fresh/chilled vegetables$4,279,424,000+4.6%CP
78Women's underwear (knit/crochet)$4,155,895,000+46.2%SP
79Coins including legal tender$4,132,733,000+89.2%SY
80Waters with added sugar$4,046,942,000+8.7%CP
81Potassic fertilizers$4,025,088,000+52.2%SY
82Wrist/pocket watches (regular case)$3,982,160,000+46.3%SP
83Nitrogenous fertilizers$3,925,069,000+96.3%SY
84Crustaceans, molluscs (preserved/prepared)$3,912,685,000+37.1%CP
85Other pharmaceutical goods$3,882,222,000+9.3%SP
86Miscellaneous preserved fruits$3,837,799,000+18.5%CP
87Vacuum cleaners$3,772,002,000+20.1%SY
88Motorcycles$3,638,630,000+31.4%SP
89Electric lamps$3,417,681,000+12.3%SP
90Electromechanic appliances$3,357,705,000+32.6%SY
91Paper containers, cellulose wadding$3,333,690,000+22.2%SP
92Chocolate, other cocoa preparations$3,222,489,000+11.7%CP
93Special hand/machine tools$3,217,380,000+15.2%SY
94Men's suits,trousers (knit or crochet)$3,167,794,000+63.1%SP
95Bras, corsets (unknit/non-crochet)$3,144,712,000+48.1%SP
96Perfumes, toilet waters$3,091,965,000+44.5%CP
97Spectacles, goggles$2,940,957,000+28.4%SY
98Tomatoes$2,911,618,000-0.2%CP
99Felt, other non-woven garments$2,840,804,000-52.2%SP
100Bananas, plantains$2,802,983,000+0.1%CP

Durable consumer products (D) are goods like cars, refrigerators and furniture that last a relatively long time. Consumers can put durable products to use again and again.

Non-durable consumer products (ND) are goods that are not re-used once consumed. Alcoholic beverages and bananas are examples of non-durable goods.

Based on the product types identified in the above table, 74 of America’s highest-value consumer imported products are durable while 26 are classified as non-durable.

You can also peruse the greatest increases or decreases in product values from 2020 to 2021. To do so, click on the heading of the fourth column.

Fastest-Growing Consumer Imports

Listed below are the top 10 consumer products imported into the United States that experienced the highest percentage increases in spending from 2020 to 2021.

  1. Items made from hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel: Up 278.3% ($4.5 billion)
  2. Vulcanized rubber clothing and accessories: Up 134.1% ($10.9 billion)
  3. Nitrogenous fertilizers: Up 96.3% ($3.9 billion)
  4. Petroleum gas: Up 90.8% ($14.3 billion)
  5. Coins including legal tender: Up 89.2% ($4.1 billion)
  6. Jewelry: Up 82.9% ($14.1 billion)
  7. Processed petroleum oils: Up 75.9% ($64.1 billion)
  8. Hand-drawn paintings, drawings: Up 67.9% ($6.2 billion)
  9. Knitted or crocheted men’s suits, trousers: Up 63.1% ($3.2 billion)
  10. Diamonds (unmounted/unset): Up 62.1% ($20.2 billion)

Among these top 10 items are 8 durable goods that consumers can re-use over time. Five top gainers are periodically purchased speciality items including jewelry, hand-drawn paintings or drawings, and diamonds. Three are shopping products that require a comparatively longer time to make a buying decision specifically items made from hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel, vulcanized rubber apparel and knitted or crocheted men’s suits or trousers.

The two non-durable top imports are the energy consumer products petroleum gas and processed petroleum oils.

Flatlining and Declining US Consumer Imports

America’s spending on the following 5 items decreased at the greatest pace from 2020 to 2021.

  1. Miscellaneous textile items: Down -63.5% ($7.5 billion)
  2. Miscellaneous items clad in precious metals: Down -62.8% ($9.8 billion)
  3. Gold: Down -59.9% ($13.9 billion)
  4. Felt clothing, other non-woven garments: Down -52.2% ($2.8 billion)
  5. Tomatoes: Down -0.2% ($2.9 billion)

Three of these items are shopping products while gold is a speciality item and tomatoes is a product consumed at once.

The 5 items below flatlined with the most modest gains among America’s most valuable 100 imported goods.

  1. Bananas, plantains: Up 0.1% ($2.8 billion)
  2. Cars: Up 1.6% ($148.1 billion)
  3. Miscellaneous fresh or chilled vegetables: Up 4.6% ($4.3 billion)
  4. Medications: Up 4.9% ($84.5 billion)
  5. Waters with added sugar: Up 8.7% ($4 billion)

Cars represent the sole flatliner that is a non-durable shopper product that is consumed over time. In contrast, the remaining 4 flatlining imports are consumer products.

Key Suppliers by Country

This analysis reveals competitive suppliers that target America’s demand for its top 5 consumer import products.

The biggest US imported consumer product by value is cars. America’s 4 other leading consumer imports are computers, phones, medications, and automotive parts or accessories.

Below, you will find major supplying countries for US imported:

Cars: Japan (22.5% of total), Mexico (20%), Canada (17.2%), South Korea (12%), Germany (10.3%), United Kingdom (4.7%), Slovakia (2.5%), Italy (2.1%), Sweden (2%), and mainland China (1.4%).

Computers: mainland China (52.9% of total), Mexico (24%), Taiwan (7.6%), Thailand (6.8%), Vietnam (2.6%), Malaysia (1%), Philippines (0.9%), Germany (0.5%), Canada (0.4%), and Japan (also 0.4%).

Phones: mainland China (55.2% of total), Vietnam (15.7%), Mexico (7.8%), Taiwan (4.5%), Thailand (3.3%), Malaysia (2.7%), South Korea (2.4%), Estonia (1.1%), India (0.9%), and Canada (0.8%).

Medication  mixes in dosage: Switzerland (18.7% of total), Ireland (16.7%), India (10.4%), Germany (10.3%), Denmark (7.4%), Canada (5.2%), Italy (4.8%), United Kingdom (4%), Japan (3.1%), and Singapore (2.9%).

Automotive parts or accessories: Mexico (35.4% of total), mainland China (13.8%), Canada (12.7%), Japan (9.6%), Germany (7.1%), South Korea (also 7.1%), Taiwan (2.8%), India (2.2%), Thailand (1.5%), and Italy (1.1%).

See also

More great research: US Tariffs on Key Consumer Products Imported from China, Main US Imports by Key Supplier Countries, UK’s Top 100 Imported Consumer Products, China’s Top 100 Imported Consumer Products, Canada’s Top 100 Imported Consumer Products, Mexico’s Top 100 Imported Consumer Products by Value

References

Independent insights and analysis presented in this article are based on researched facts and statistics sourced from the following educational portals.

BoyceWire, Consumer Goods Definition.

Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook: United States Economy.

International Trade Centre, Trade Map.

Investopedia, Consumer Goods, Consumer Staples Definition, Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG).

Trading Economics, United States Consumer Spending.

Wikipedia, List of largest consumer markets.

World’s Top Exports, United States Top 10 Imports.

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