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US imports from China more concentrated than ever
Posted : July 17, 2012
Importation into the US is a very concentrated field, according to data from the US Department of Commerce. Overall, the top 500 US importers, or 0.4 percent of all importers, made up about 68 percent of all imports by value in 2010.
While imports from China are somewhat less concentrated than US imports as a whole, it is still dominated by larger enterprises. Companies with more than 500 employees represent only about 4 percent of all importers from China, but account for almost 60 percent of all imports. In fact, the Pareto Principle or "80:20 Rule" broadly holds true for US imports from China, as 26 percent of importers account for just over 80 percent of all imports.
This indicates that while there are great opportunities to trade in large quantities —quantities that bring China's great competitive advantage in economies of scale —these opportunities are scarce. They are becoming even more scarce every year, as the general trend from 2008-2010 has been for more import concentration, not less.