Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, and other issues that affect trade.
With a population of 23.3 million, Taiwan is a thriving democracy with a vibrant market economy. In 2021, Taiwan’s GDP grew by 6.57 percent. The unemployment rate was 3.95 percent, while the labor participation rate was 59.02 percent.
As of December 2021, Taiwan was the world’s sixth-largest holder of foreign exchange reserves and was ranked eleventh in gold reserves, with holdings of $548 billion and 424 metric tons respectively.
The United States and Taiwan have a long-standing and vibrant trade relationship. In 2021, U.S. exports of goods and services to Taiwan were $47.3 billion, up 18.8 percent from 2020, and imports from Taiwan were
$86.9 billion, up 30.3 percent from 2020. As a result, the trade deficit with Taiwan increased to $39.6 billion. In 2021, exports to Taiwan accounted for 1.8 percent of total U.S. exports, and imports from Taiwan accounted for 2.6 percent of total U.S. imports. Exports were led by capital goods except automotive, which accounted for 39 percent of U.S. exports to Taiwan, and imports were led by capital goods except automotive, which accounted for 53.9 percent of U.S. imports from Taiwan.
The United States is Taiwan’s second largest trading partner, accounting for 12.6 percent of total trade and
10.2 percent of Taiwan imports. China is Taiwan’s largest trading partner, accounting for 25.2 percent of total trade and 21.6 percent of Taiwan’s imports in 2021. In terms of total trade, other major Taiwan trading partners include Japan (10.3 percent), Hong Kong (7.8 percent), and the Republic of Korea (6.1 percent).
U.S. Goods Trade
In 2021, Taiwan was the United States’ 8th largest goods trading partner, outranking markets such as India and Vietnam, with $113.9 billion in two-way goods trade.
Taiwan was the United States’ 11th largest goods export market at $36.9 billion in 2021, an increase of 5.2 percent over 2020, accounting for 2.1 percent of U.S. goods exports. Top U.S. goods exports included computer & electronic products ($8.3 billion), machinery, electrical machinery ($6.9 billion), oil & gas ($4.2 billion), chemicals ($3.9 billion), and transportation equipment ($3.0 billion). Taiwan was the United States’ sixth-largest agricultural export market in 2021, with exports totaling $3.9 billion, a 15 percent increase over 2020 ($3.4 billion). Top U.S. agricultural exports included soybeans ($691 million), beef and beef products ($608 million), corn ($438 million), wheat ($304 million), and fresh fruit ($204 million).
Taiwan was the United States’ sixth-largest agricultural export market in 2021, with exports totaling $3.9 billion, a 15 percent increase over 2020 ($3.4 billion). Top U.S. agricultural exports included soybeans ($691 million), beef and beef products ($608 million), corn ($438 million), wheat ($304 million), and fresh fruit ($204 million).
U.S. Services Trade
In 2021, two-way trade in services with Taiwan was $19.8 billion. U.S. exports of services to Taiwan were roughly $9.9 billion, a 7.6 percent increase over 2020. Top U.S. services exports included intellectual property (industrial processes), transport, and financial services.
Exactly 50,470 Taiwan travelers visited the United States in 2021 and spent over $1.0 billion on travel and tourism-related goods and services.
Last year, Taiwan was the seventh-largest source of foreign students pursuing higher education in the United States. The number of students reached 19,673, a 17.1 percent drop from 2020 due to COVID-19-related travel restrictions, which caused a loss of an estimated $875 million.
U.S. imports of services from Taiwan totaled approximately $9.8 billion in 2021, a 56.3 percent increase from 2020.