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Economic Commentary

Do Imports Hinder or Help Economic Growth?

Although Americans spent $1.3 trillion on foreign goods and services last year, many regard imports with hostility, preferring to “buy American. ”But do imports really hurt the American economy? This Economic Commentary argues they do not. If anything, imports promote growth.

The views authors express in Economic Commentary are theirs and not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland or the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. The series editor is Tasia Hane. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. This paper and its data are subject to revision; please visit for updates.

Suggested Citation

Humpage, Owen F. 2000. “Do Imports Hinder or Help Economic Growth?” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary 3/15/2000.