Almost everyone has a television set but a television is virtually useless without a receiver. Who wants a TV that can get just 3 to 5 channels? Almost all sports, news, educational, and entertainment broadcasts are available only through attaching a receiver to your TV. Today it is almost impossible to have basic cable and view anything on that cable without a receiver. It is also impossible to view satellite steams without the receiver. These receivers are usually provided as part of a subscription to any major provider and thus taken for granted. TV Receivers are listed in the SIC as 3651 and the HS code as 8538. These codes are used to track foreign trade and are available from the U.S. Census Bureau.
TV Receiver Historical Production Trend
Although outdated, the following table shows the production of TV receivers by country and year. TV production after WWII was only present in Western counties. China did not make any significant amount of television receivers until 1978. After 1978 China’s growth in the manufacturing of TV receivers is exponential. China grew from producing 1 million units in 1978, to producing 20 million units in 1987, and then to producing 42 million units per year by 1998. In 1978 China produced 14% of the TV receivers that the United States did but by 1987, 9 years later, China moved to producing 150% as many TV receivers as the United States. By 1998 China was producing almost 400% as many TV receivers as the US.
World TV Receiver Exports and Imports
As of 2009 China was the dominating TV receiver exporter, accounting for 22% of the world’s market, generating a staggering 28 billion dollars. Mexico was the second leading exporter generating 18 billion dollars and holding almost 15% of the world’s market. United States did not on make it to the top ten list of TV receiver exporters, as our production had actually declined from 1987. (See yellow on the graph above.) United States did show up on the top importers of TV receivers in 2009, with an estimated value of almost 25 billion dollars spent abroad for this precious commodity. We made up almost 20% of the buying worldwide. The top importing nations are interesting to note because they are all western countries. If compared to the historical production trends, it is plain to see that the countries that initially produced the product became the top users of it. They then outsourced the production of the receivers and became the top buyers. The top buyers of foreign-made TV receivers in 2009 were United States, followed by Germany, France, UK, and then Italy.
United States Trade Balance
With PIERS Stats Plus we can see in-depth charts and graphs available for products by country. A quick look at the United States trade balance of TV receivers reveals a major deficit. Our top positive balance is with Canada which accounts for almost 2 billion dollars in profit. Our most negative balance is with China in which we are more than 15 billion dollars in the red. Our relationship with Mexico is equally as dismal with a trade value deficit of over 14 billion dollar going one way to Mexico.
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