The United States has been one of Pakistan’s major trading partners. For the past several years, the trade volume between the two countries has been stagnant, hovering around $5.5 billion. However, in calendar year 2017, the Pakistan-US bilateral trade crossed $6-billion mark for the first time.
Given the product mix of Pakistan’s exports, its major and closest competitors in the US market are China, India, Vietnam and Bangladesh. In the past five years, apart from 2017, Pakistan’s share in the US market has been stagnant but its competitors have increased their share both generally and in textile. The current PTI government is focusing on import compression and boosting exports. So, the time is ripe for Pakistan to diversify its exports to the US.
At the same time, Pakistan is entering the second phase of industrialization under CPEC. In this phase, Chinese industrial units will be relocated to Pakistan for manufacturing different products. Pakistan believes it will help step up exports from the country.
However, on the other hand, a major threat is the trade war between China and the US, which may hamper the plan of raising exports to the US market.