Since the inauguration of US-President Trump, numerous steps have signaled a shift in United States trade policy. The US government has expressed their intent to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In January, the United States pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. Furthermore, the Trump administration is considering the introduction of punitive tariffs on goods imported from China.
The envisaged realignment of US trade policy is set to have a significant impact on the four most important US trading partners - China, Canada, Mexico and Japan. According to United Nations data, approximately 53% of all US imports in 2016 originated from, and 47% of all US exports were destined for these four countries.
Compared to other G7 states, the trade openness of the US economy is relatively low: According to the World Trade Organization (WTO) the US merchandise trade-to-GDP ratio amounted to 21% in 2015. By contrast, in Germany the trade-to-GDP ratio was as high as 71%. Other major US trading partners also had considerably higher ratios. In 2015, Mexico had an ratio of 69% of GDP, Canada 55%, China 36% and Japan 29%.