Frequently Asked Questions

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Does the U.S. Bureau of the Census provide information on what specific companies are importing and exporting?

No. All data that are collected by the Census Bureau are considered private and confidential. U.S. Code Title 13 makes it illegal for us to release data from companies or individuals doing the trading as opposed to the individual commodities that are traded.

This confidentiality also adds to the integrity of the trade data. Data from the decennial census (the census that happens every ten years) is also covered by Title 13. If your neighbors could go to the government and look up your annual income from the last census (which, by the way, they can't), would you be entirely honest about your income during the next census? Similarly, if you knew that your competition could go to the government and find out exactly what you're trading (and with whom you're trading it), wouldn't you try to be vague enough to make their job more difficult while still obeying trade laws?

For more information on U.S. trade regulations, contact our Regulations, Outreach and Education Branch (ROEB) on (301) 763-2238.


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