Pragmatic | Leading item of US-India trade

Hard to guess.

This new CRS Report (pdf) tells us that with a total trade of $48.753 billion, India was the 12th largest trading partner for the United States in 2010. US exports to India in 2010 totalled $19.222 billion and imports from India totalled $29.531 billion. That data looks good, but can you guess the top items that the two countries trade in.

The leading US export to India in 2010: Natural or cultured pearls, precious or semi-precious stones, precious metals, metals clad with precious metal and articles thereof and imitation jewelry (chapter 71)— worth $4.206 billion.

The top import from India in 2010:  Natural or cultured pearls, precious or semi-precious stones, precious metals, metals clad with precious metal and articles thereof and imitation jewelry (chapter 71)— worth $6.850 billion.

Confused! How can the two countries export and import the same items? Well, because India is a major global supplier of precious gems and stones, whereas the United States is a major supplier of finished jewellery.

Ah, it seems jewellery does divert our attention off the wrinkles — even between countries.