For the first time in decades, trade barriers appear to be increasing around the world.
Brexit negotiations have helped to create an environment of uncertainty, while the introduction of American tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum – along with the resulting retaliatory measures – have created more tangible barriers to international trade.
Now, there is now even rhetoric coming from D.C. about adding tariffs to $200 billion of goods coming from China, and NAFTA renegotiations have long been on President Trump’s agenda.
The G7 meeting in Canada also gave recent indications on the state of the existing trade atmosphere. For the first time in recent memory, the meeting of Western leaders was tense, resulting in name-calling and accusations, giving the impression that the worst could be yet to come.
Who are the world's biggest exporters?
As the environment around trade shifts, it’s worth noting the countries that have the biggest stakes in international trade to start with.
Both imports and exports matter, but today’s map from HowMuch.net focuses exclusively on the world’s biggest exporters. Each country is re-sized based on the latest export data from the World Trade Organization for 2017, and countries with fewer than $20 billion in exports are excluded altogether.
Here are the 10 countries with the most exports in 2017.
China leads the way with $2.26 trillion in exports per year, but the country also has a sizable population of nearly 1.4 billion.
Germany, which is a massive exporter of automobiles, sends a whopping $1.45 trillion of goods abroad every year despite only having 83 million people. That’s an astounding $18,000 per person in exports.
The United States is the world’s second largest exporter in terms of absolute value. However, if you compare it on a per capita basis to a nation like Germany, it’s clear that the U.S. relies less on exports overall. The country exported $1.55 trillion in goods in 2017, about $4,800 per person.