Tech exports take the lead

The high-tech industry accounts for more than a quarter of all US exports

The high-tech industry led all industries in imports and exports in the United States last year, according to a new report issued on Monday.

The industry exported a record $181bn (£112bn) in manufactured products to more than 172 countries worldwide, according to a joint report from the American Electronics Association and the Nasdaq Stock Market. High-tech exports accounted for 26 percent of all US goods exports, beating out the transportation, chemical and textile industries.

Computers/office equipment was the top export segment, followed by semiconductors, industrial electronics, communications equipment and electronic components. The top markets for US technology goods are Canada, Mexico, Japan, the United Kingdom and South Korea.

While the United States currently leads the rest of the world in computer usage per capita, it actually lags in some other areas. It is second to Iceland, for example, in Internet usage per capita, although it still leads the way in total Internet users. The US comes in 16th in cellular phone use per capita.

The AEA study predicts that the Asia-Pacific region will surpass the US and Europe in computer usage by 2005. China, in particular, is expected to see tremendous computer usage growth. The country has already seen a 1,052 percent jump in usage between 1993 and 2000, and should see another 212 percent rise by 2005. The study predicts China will see similar jumps in Internet penetration, predicting a 585 percent jump in users per capita between 2000 and 2005.

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