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"How can I obtain foreign trade statistics?"


A number of government and official bodies collect and disseminate trade data. A good place to start for foreign trade statistics is the World Trade Organization's (WTO) International Trade Statistics web site which contains country trade profiles, the annual publication International Trade Statistics, and links to other trade statistics web sites.


The United Nations' Trade Statistics Branch provides data in three main areas of international trade: International Merchandise Trade Statistics (IMTS), Statistics of International Trade in Services (SITS) and Distributive Trade Statistics (DTS). Additional UN databases include the Commodity Trade Statistics Database (Comtrade), UNdata, and the Monthly Bulletin of Statistics.


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) publishes Direction of Trade Statistics, Balance of Payments Statistics, and the International Financial Statistics database.


For data on trade between the US and foreign countries, has information and links to government and official trade databases such as TradStats Express, and International Trade and Economic Statistics. The U.S. Census Bureau publishes Foreign Trade Statistics reports.


USA Trade Online (avaliable online and at Electronic Text Center locations in Olin Library; ask at the Olin Reference Desk) provides U.S. export and import information on more than 18,000 commodities presented in the Harmonized Tariff Classification System for current month and previous month; cumulative year to date, current year and prior year; and annual two year and historical data.