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Interpretation of United States regional trade data
For proper interpration of these figures, it is important to note that the federal states listed in the US statistics on foreign trade are not necessarily those where the goods are being received. In the US statistics, the state listed is either the starting point or final point of the international trade lane. This often concerns a distribution centre, e.g. where goods are unloaded from a container.
For example: goods entering the United States via the Port of New York and New Jersey which are transferred to a distribution centre in New Jersey and eventually bought by consumers in Pennsylvania are listed as imports by the state of New Jersey.
More information can be found on the website of the US Census Bureau:
United States Census Bureau (2007). Guide to Foreign Trade Statistics. https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/guide/index.html, 12 December 2018.