According to the The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), US technology industry product and service exports grew by nearly €8.6bn in 2017 to an estimated €277bn. This is approximately a fifth of the €1.332tn worth of goods that the US shipped globally in 2017 – a 6.6% rise from 2016.
With companies from Apple to Google and Microsoft having been at the leading edge of a global tech revolution that continues to be powered from Silicon Valley, it’s no wonder that consumer technology jobs account for 14% of all US export-related employment.
“Tech is one of the largest sectors for exports in the US economy,” said Elizabeth Hyman, executive vice-president for public advocacy at CompTIA, adding that the industry accounts for 25% of all revenue generated by exports.
“It’s also a reflection of the leadership position held by many US tech companies that are on the forefront of innovation in the global marketplace,” said Tim Herbert, senior vice- president for research and market intelligence at CompTIA. Only the transportation and motor vehicles category generated more export revenue that the tech sector.
As Wired magazine reports, this tech export boom is being driven by significant venture capital and R&D investment. With more than €60bn in venture funding for US tech startups in 2017, and €129bn in private equity funding for tech companies, Wired noted that industry leaders like Google and Microsoft themselves invested tens of billions in R&D.
These impressive figures do not, however, include the massive turnover of US tech products like the iPhone (with sales of around €15bn in the last quarter of 2017 alone) that are assembled in China and do not, therefore, count as exports to China.
Meanwhile, CNBC reports that tech companies such as Amazon, Microsoft and Cisco are keen to shore up the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) due to its vital role in foreign trade and in maintaining supply chains across North America. To this end, top tech companies have been investing in lobbyists to make their case as the Trump administration considers renegotiating NAFTA.