A Pop Quiz on Imports!


A Pop Quiz on Imports!

May 10, 2011 1 min read

Former Jay Van Andel Senior Policy Analyst in Trade Policy

Bryan served as an advocate for free trade through his research at The Heritage Foundation.

Consider three countries:

1) In Country 1, imports of goods and services are 29 percent the size of the country’s overall economy.

2) In Country 2, imports are 22 percent the size of the country’s economy.

3) In Country 3, imports are 14 percent the size of the country’s economy.

Which of these countries relies the most on imports?

In this real-world example based on World Bank data, most people would say that Country 1 (Mexico) relies the most on imports.

Country 2 (China) appears much less reliant on imports.

Country 3 (the United States) could be described as the least-reliant on imports.

Some people think the United States is being flooded with imports, but compared to China and Mexico, imports are actually quite small relative to the size of our economy.

Of course, more imports are not necessarily a bad thing. Hong Kong, which has the world’s highest ratio of imports to gross domestic product, consistently ranks number one in The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom.

This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal