Market Spotlight: USA

Date: 05/04/2021
Author: Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce
Company: Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce

The USA is an attractive market due to its large, affluent, and diverse population. The USA is the UK’s single largest export market for goods and services. 

According to data from the International Trade Centre in 2019, the UK was the largest market supplying services to the USA exporting over £47,841m and between 2016 2019 exports grew by 46% (source: HMRC/ONS) 

In terms of export of goods, data from the International Trade Centre showed the UK ranked 12th in terms of supplying markets of goods to the USA in 2020, behind other European markets such as Germany, Switzerland, and Ireland (see below graphic). The UK exported £49,980million in 2019 and same as in services, also has seen an overall growth of 34.4% in the 2016-19 period.

The top three regional contributors to the Total UK exports in 2020 were the South East (13.82%), followed by London (13.13%) and the West Midlands (12.07%). The North West Region ranks 5th in terms of the export value contribution having exported £3,218million in 2020, and the leading exporters in the North West are Cheshire, followed by Merseyside, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Cumbria. 

However, unlike the growth that the UK as a whole has experienced in terms of exports of goods to the USA, the North West saw a contraction between 2016 and 2019 of 13.25% (HMRC/ONS), with the largest declines experienced by Merseyside (28%) and Cheshire (22%). Cumbria, Greater Manchester and Lancashire on the contrary registered growth of 51%, 7 % and 3% respectively.  

The International Trade Centre estimates British companies could be exporting an additional US$29.6billion to the USA and with opportunities in virtually every sector. We are calling on companies in the North West to help drive this growth. 

The sectors offering the largest export growth potential include: 

  • Aerospace – US$7.8bn 
  • Automotive – UD$4.4bn 
  • Pharmaceutical – US$3.5bn 
  • Machinery & Equipment - US$2.3bn 
  • Miscelanneous Manufactures – US$1.9bn 
  • Medical Devices – US$1.5bn 
  • Chemicals – US$668million 

Other sectors identified by the Department for International Trade include: 

  • Technology  
  • Life Sciences 
  • Food and Drink 

The North West and Greater Manchester have a strong offer in the above sectors, but there are also great opportunities to be explored within Advanced Materials and Service sector with innovations driven by graphene, fintech, virtual reality/AI, gaming and more. 

Keen to explore how to grow your business in the USA? 

The Chamber can help you in a number of ways: 

  • America Made Easy Free Workshop | 28th April: We have teamed up with Avitus and Neweable to deliver a free virtual workshop designed to provide ambitious UK companies with key market insights, expert guidance and operational solutions needed to help streamline their growth in the largest economic market on the planet. Register here:  
  • Market Entry Support: We have partners in-country who can help you with finding partners and navigate through the complexities to export to the USA. Email us at for further support.