The United States depends on many mineral commodities which it once exported. High costs of mining and production, and in certain instances, a lack of local supply, make it more economically sound to import many resources from countries where production is not so expensive. According to the United States Geological Survey, mineral imports exceeded exports by about $29 billion dollars in the year 2000. In addition to industrial materials, the U.S. depends heavily on the foreign market for petroleum resources used in the production of energy. In fact, petroleum imports alone are responsible for generating 1/3 of the U.S. trade deficit.
- Fact Sheet