Which has a larger impact – Trade with Russia or Ukraine?

If you have been following the Russia and Ukraine issue, you know that Russia has warned that they could reduce their economic dependency on the US to zero.  You also know that the Obama Administration has announced a $1 billion in aid to Ukraine and sanctions against Russia.  So what is the United States’ trading history with both of these countries and what is going to be the best for the United States – trade with Russia or Ukraine?

The United States tracks all foreign aid and how much imports and exports we have with every country in the world.  Here a few key terms used when looking at foreign trade:

  • Export – when goods or services are sent to another country for sale
  • Import – when goods or services are brought into a country from abroad for sale
  • Balance of Trade – difference between a country’s imports and exports
  • Trade Deficit – imports more than exports
  • Trade Surplus – exports more than imports

So, I compared the imports and exports of both Ukraine and Russia to the US since 1993, the last twenty years.

Screen shot 2014-03-04 at 4.10.15 PMScreen shot 2014-03-04 at 4.11.00 PM

From these two simple charts, it is easy to see that Russia is the stronger trade partner with the United States.  I’m not sure what is going to happen with this conflict, but I do know ending our trade with Russia is not a smart move for the United States

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