Traditional customs-based trade statistics are increasingly complicated by the growing trend of global production sharing, says a new report from the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI).

Instead, tracing value-added trade along global value chains to source countries and source industries helps to quantify a country’s competitiveness, reports “A Value-Added Perspective on US International Trade”.

MAPI economist Yingying Xu said recently published data from the OECD and WTO now made it possible to analyse US international trade patterns in traditional and value-added terms.

In 2009, while US manufacturing and services made up 61% and 34% of gross exports respectively, these figures changed to 42% and 52% in value-added terms.

Value created by services accounted for 27% of total domestic value-added in US gross manufactured exports in 2009, the report adds.

“This is no surprise considering that many services are needed to provide links in GVCs [global value chains] and improve the efficiency of production,” said Xu.

“Services therefore become a significant source of domestic content for exported manufactured goods and are about evenly split between business services and administrative services.”