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Introduction to Trade Data

Trade data can help companies identify the best countries to target their exporting efforts. Companies can gauge the size of the market for their product as well as develop a price strategy to become competitive.

The official U.S. import and export statistics reflect government and non-government shipments of merchandise between foreign countries and the U.S. Customs Territory (i.e. the 50 states, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico), U.S. Foreign Trade Zones, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, without regard to whether or not a commercial transaction is involved.

The first step to accessing export and import statistics is to classify the product with one of the following commodity classification codes: Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS), Schedule B Number, North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), or Standard International Trade Classification (SITC). Each of these classification systems allow you to assign 6-10 digit codes to commodities so that trade data can be collected and analyzed in a consistent manner. For help with any of the terms or concepts, please visit Basics of Trade Data.

Ways to Access Trade Data

Trade Stats Express is a service provided by the International Trade Administration (ITA).