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Research from the U.S. Department of Commerce finds that in 2014, continued growth in both exports and imports resulted in a digitally-deliverable trade surplus of $158.9 billion.

This report provides updated data and estimates of the total value of U.S. trade in digitally-deliverable services from the previous year’s report, "Digital Economy and Cross-Border Trade: The Value of Digitally-Deliverable Services." The services studied include those that could be, but are not necessarily, digitally-deliverable. In the U.S., digitally-deliverable services continue to be an important contributor to trade, accounting for more than half of all services trade and more than one-sixth of overall trade in goods and services.

Overall, the largest share of digitally-deliverable services exports came from intellectual property (33%). The next largest share of digitally deliverable services exports came from other business services (32%), followed by finance (22%), telecommunications (8%) and insurance (4%). Insurance services was the only category that registered a trade deficit, and the largest trade surplus was in charges for the use of intellectual property.

 

Digitally-deliverable services play an important role in U.S. trade, contributing to a trade surplus of more than $150 billion in 2014 that is only continuing to grow. The report concludes that the government should continue to adopt metrics to better measure this sector of this economy and its growth.