Skip to main content

About the Tool

The Market Diversification Tool is meant to be a starting point for research into potential export markets. This page will walk you through the basics of using the tool.

Market Diversification Tool

What Information is Required?

To use the Market Diversification Tool, you need just four pieces of information:

1. The Product or Products You Export 

2. Your Current Market(s)

3. The New Markets You Want to See in the Results 

4. Your company’s zip code



The products you are currently exporting are identified by their Harmonized System numbers. The Harmonized System is an international classification system standardized between countries at a basic 6-digit level, with country-specific definitions at more detailed 8- and 10-digit levels. 

Product classifications in the U.S. are given in two publications, one for exports and one for imports. Schedule B is for exports. The number you need for this tool should be the first six digits of the Schedule B number you have already used when filing your export paperwork. So, if your company exports men’s sweaters with a Schedule B number of 6110.30.1570, the HS number you will use for the tool is 6110.30.

rtaImage (1).jpg

The Schedule B Search Engine from the U.S. Census Bureau can also help identify the HS numbers for your products. 

Enter the HS numbers in the tool without the periods (611030, not 6110.30). 

You can enter up to 25 products numbers in a search, but the results will be more useful if you enter just one product at a time or a few, closely-related products.

Current Markets

These are the markets to which you currently export your products.

New Markets

These are the markets you are considering and want to see in the results. You may already have an idea of which countries you are considering for your next export market. Maybe you’re thinking of comparing countries in a specific region, like Europe, or maybe you have a short list of markets you want to compare from across the globe. 

The Market Diversification Tool allows you to select which markets you want to see in the results. The tool allows you to search three ways: global, regional, or by country.

 rtaImage (2).jpg

Zip Code

By entering your zip code, the tool will give you the address and contact information of your local U.S. Commercial Service office, which you can contact for additional help with exporting.

How it Works

Once you have entered your selections and you click “Submit,” the Market Diversification Tool compiles all the trade and tariff data related to the product numbers you’ve picked. If you select more than one product, the trade data for those products is added up by market—the products are treated as a group. 

Since the tool calculates import shares (what share of the market’s imports are from the United States), it uses market-reported international trade data, rather than U.S. trade data. Therefore, we depend on markets making their trade and tariff data available to the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. 

Any markets that do not have enough trade data available from the United Nations Comtrade database (at least three years of data in the period) are not included in the calculations. Furthermore, any market that does not provide its most-favored nation tariff schedule available to the World Trade Organization is not included in the calculations.

The tool also pulls in the market-level data (i.e. GDP growth, rule of law score, language). If a market is missing some of the required market-level data, it won’t be included in the calculations.

After calculating some regional values for comparison, the data is filtered to only include those markets you’ve selected to view. 

Then the indicators are normalized (converted to scores in a range from 0 to 1) and multiplied by the given weights for each of the eleven indicators (either the standard weights or weights you choose). The indicator scores are added up. This results in a final score for each market between 0 and 100. 

Viewing the Results

The selected markets are then ranked by their resulting scores and listed in that order on the results page. For, example, in the search below, the top result was the Dominican Republic with a score of 81.3. 

rtaImage (3).jpg

If you click on a market, it will expand and display the individual indicators to give some context to the results. Please note that for some indicators (including the Import Share Gap and Rule of Law) a higher number improves the market’s score, and for other indicators (including the Maximum Average Tariff and Cost to Import) a lower number is better. 

rtaImage (4).jpg

A full explanation of each indicator and how to interpret your results can be found here.

Above the results, the tool displays the HS numbers and product descriptions for the products you selected. 

rtaImage (5).jpg

You can also print the results or export all the data to a file you can open in any spreadsheet program. Clicking “Print Results” will print out the detailed results for each country. From the print preview screen, you can also save the results as a document or PDF file. 

If you have a lot of markets in your results, this document may be very long and difficult to follow. An easier way of saving your results for later may be to export the results to a spreadsheet. Clicking “Download Export Results (.csv) will download a .csv file you can open in any spreadsheet program. 

Next Steps

Once you have your results, guidance on suggested next steps can be found below the results. 

The Market Diversification Tool is meant as a starting point for your market research process. It does not provide a complete picture of a country’s market potential for your product.

We strongly encourage users to do further research and utilize other resources from the International Trade Administration and beyond to create a more complete picture of the markets you are considering. This includes analyzing and interpreting the results from the tool, finding additional trade data, looking at detailed tariff data, reviewing other market research resources like the Top Markets Reports, and working with experts who can help you at your local U.S. Commercial Service Office. 

Click here for detailed instructions on how to interpret your results and understand the individual indicators used in the tool.

rtaImage (6).jpg