trade.gov / Market Diversification Tool
Using This Report
The Market Diversification Tool is meant to be a starting point for research into potential export markets. The International Trade Administration strongly encourages all users to do additional analysis and thoroughly research any potential markets. Here are some steps you may want to take:
Better Understand Your Results
The ranking of markets in the results will depend on a variety of factors, including the weights applied to the various indicators. The results report includes many indicators, and better understanding them can add nuance and context to the results and help you decide whether they seem valid.
Instructions for interpreting your results available here.
Take A Closer Look At The Trade Data
The trade data provided in the tool is an average (usually over five years, but no less than three years), rather than annual data. It shows how much the market imported from the United States and from the world and what the U.S. share was. However, it does not provide information on other exporters to that market beyond the United States. In other words, it doesn't show who you would be competing against in that market.
Additional trade data can be easily obtained from a number of sources, including through the UN Comtrade Database here.
Click here for instructions on how to use the UN Comtrade Database and other trade data resources to do additional research on your product.
Additional trade data resources can be found here.
Get a Better Idea of the Tariffs You Might Face
The Market Diversification Tool provides only the estimated average tariff for the six-digit HS subheading where your product is classified, not the actual national line tariff you would face in the market. If you have selected more than one product, it provides the maximum of the average tariffs for the selected products. Most countries have more than one tariff line per six-digit subheading, so knowing the precise tariff you will face is important.
To get information on the more detailed national line tariffs, we recommend using the CUSTOMS Info database. The International Trade Administration provides exporters who use Export.gov with free access to the CUSTOMS Info database, which provides detailed tariff information for many markets. You can create an account at http://export.customsinfo.com. This can help you better understand the barriers you face in exporting to a given market. The database also has information on other taxes you might face in a market, such as VAT taxes. Click here for instructions on how to use the database.
If you are considering exporting to a Free Trade Agreement partner, you may also want to utilize the FTA Tariff Tool at https://beta.trade.gov/fta. The FTA Tariff Tool incorporates all products (agricultural and non-agricultural goods) classified within all 97 chapters of the Harmonized System and includes information on product-specific rules of origin to determine the eligibility of the reduced tariff rates under with any U.S. FTA Partner. The Tariff Tool not only provides information on current tariff lines, but also provides transparency on future tariffs and the year in which those products become duty free.
Review More Market Research
Export.gov Market Research
Export.gov has a wealth of market research articles on various industries and markets that can provide additional information on potential export destinations. https://www.trade.gov/international-market-research
Country Commercial Guides
The ITA's Country Commercial Guides have information on market conditions, opportunities, regulations, and business customs for over 125 countries. They are prepared by trade and industry experts at U.S. embassies worldwide. https://www.trade.gov/ccg-landing-page
Top Markets Reports
The International Trade Administration's Top Markets Series is meant to help exporters determine their next export market by comparing opportunities across borders. Each report ranks future export opportunities within an industry based on a sector-specific methodology. The reports provide a detailed assessment of the competitiveness landscape within a sector, as well as the opportunities and challenges facing U.S. exporters in key markets. https://legacy.trade.gov/topmarkets/
Contact Your Local U.S Commercial Service Office
U.S. Commercial Service offices, called Export Assistance Centers (USEACs), are located in more than 100 U.S. cities and provide counseling and a variety of products and services to assist small and midsized U.S. businesses export their products and services. USEAC staff can help you develop an export strategy, evaluate export markets, and find potential partners overseas. If you've entered your zip code, the Market Diversification Tool has provided the contact information for your local Commercial Service office above. You can also search here: https://www.trade.gov/let-our-experts-help-0
Trade data in the tool comes from the United Nations Comtrade Database, United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database, Department of Economic and Social Affairs/Statistics.
ITA obtains UN data under a restricted license that excludes certain public release. The tool only provides data averaged over a multi-year span. Annual data and additional trade data can be obtained through the UN Comtrade Database at https://comtrade.un.org/.
For countries with which the United States has a Free Trade Agreement, tariff data was compiled from the final negotiated schedules for each agreement. The schedules for each FTA can be found at https://ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements.
For countries with which the United States does not have a Free Trade Agreement, tariff schedules provided to the World Trade Organization by individual members were used.
World Trade Organization, Tariff Analysis Online facility provides access to the WTO's Integrated Database (IDB) and Consolidated Tariff Schedules (CTS). https://tao.wto.org/
This data has been modified from its original format. In the case of tariff schedules provided to the WTO in the current nomenclature, simple averages at the six-digit subheading have been calculated. In the case of tariff schedules provided to the WTO in older nomenclatures, the tariff data was averaged first and then converted into the most recent nomenclature. Where markets used specific or compound tariffs, rather than ad valorem tariffs, every effort was made to accurately calculate ad valorem equivalents for the specific or compound tariffs so that they could be averaged with other tariff lines.
Tariff data is only provided as an average tariff across an entire six-digit subheading, not at the national line level. It is recommended that all users identify the national line tariffs they will face in the markets they are interested in.
The World Factbook. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency, 2017. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/.
GeoDist Database, Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales. Bilateral US file, "dist" indicator. http://www.cepii.fr/CEPII/en/bdd_modele/bdd_modele.asp
Rule of Law
Worldwide Governance Indicators, The World Bank, Rule of Law: Estimate. http://info.worldbank.org/governance/wgi/#reports
Cost to Import
Doing Business, The World Bank, Trading Across Borders, Cost to Import: Border Compliance (USD) and Cost to Import: Documentary Compliance (USD). http://www.doingbusiness.org/data/exploretopics/trading-across-borders
Doing Business, The World Bank, Enforcing Contracts, Cost (% of claim). http://www.doingbusiness.org/data/exploretopics/enforcing-contracts
International Logistics Performance Index
Logistics Performance Index, The World Bank, International LPI Global Ranking and LPI Score. https://lpi.worldbank.org/international/global
Gross Domestic Product
World Development Indicators, The World Bank, GDP (current US$) (NY.GDP.MKTP.CD). http://databank.worldbank.org/data/home.aspx