US imports shift towards closer shores as reshoring gains momentum


  • The US market is shifting towards North American-manufactured goods and away from Asian LCCRs, highlighted by a 20 per cent drop in imports from China and declines from Vietnam and Malaysia.
  • Mexican imports surged by 32 per cent, making Mexico the largest US exporter in 2023.
  • This reshoring trend is driven by economic, geopolitical, and logistical factors.

The US market is increasingly favouring goods manufactured closer to home, particularly in North America, while reducing its reliance on goods from Asian low-cost country regions (LCCRs), according to the 2024 Kearney Reshoring Index. This shift underscores a strategic pivot in US import patterns, influenced by ongoing industrial reshoring and nearshoring initiatives.

US imports from 14 Asian LCCRs fell sharply from $1.022 billion in 2022 to $878 billion in 2023, primarily due to a significant 20 per cent reduction in imports from China. Notably, for the first time since the inception of the Reshoring Index in 2013, other Asian nations like Vietnam and Malaysia also experienced declines in their export volumes to the US, as per Kearney’s ‘Made in America: Here to stay?’ report.

Meanwhile, the trade landscape with North American neighbours has flourished. Canada’s exports to the US have consistently increased post-pandemic, aligning closely with the trends in Asian LCCR imports. More strikingly, Mexico has emerged as a powerhouse, overtaking mainland China in 2023 as the largest exporter to the US Mexican imports have surged by 32 per cent since the pre-COVID period, climbing from $320 billion to $422 billion.

This reorientation towards North American manufacturing sources can be attributed to a combination of economic, geopolitical, and logistical factors that favour the proximity of supply chains. The stable output in domestic manufacturing gross output (MGO), despite the reduction in Asian imports, further signals a robust commitment to revitalising American industrial capabilities.

The movement towards bringing production closer to the US market reflects a broader strategy embraced by American corporations, driven by high-level executive interest in reshoring to enhance operational efficiency and market responsiveness. This trend, popularly encapsulated by the sentiment ‘Born in the USA’, marks a decisive shift in the landscape of global manufacturing and trade, positioning North America at the forefront of US industrial sourcing strategies.

“While it sounds like an election year bumper sticker, the phrase ‘Made in America, for America’ could describe the foreseeable future of industrial manufacturing in the Western hemisphere,” said Patrick Van den Bossche, partner and lead author of the annual Reshoring Index report. “However, that doesn’t mean mainland China and other producer nations are sitting idly by as more and more nearshored goods flow into the US market. Our research shows an emerging correlation between the uptick in US imports from Asian LCCRs other than mainland China and the rise in imports these countries see from mainland China. Mainland China is now running trade surpluses with Vietnam, India, and Thailand, which in turn are running widening surpluses with the US.”