The US marks its fourth consecutive year of record-high exports, according to the US Department of Commerce. With $2300bn of goods sold abroad in 2013, US exports were up 44% from the peak of the financial crisis in 2009.

Panama and Russia recorded some of the biggest increases in demand for US goods in 2013, up 25.9% and 20.3%, respectively, from 2009. A string of Latin American countries, including Peru, Colombia, Chile and Ecuador, also recorded significant spikes in the purchase of US goods, according to the Department of Commerce.

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“As the numbers prove, American entrepreneurs will continue to outperform their competitors in the global marketplace, as long as they are given a level playing field,” said Fred P Hochberg, the head of the Export-Import Bank of the US, a federal agency focusing on US trade facilitation.

Yet, it is China, not the US, that since 2009 has held the title of the world’s biggest exporter. According to the Chinese customs administration, China might also be the world's biggest trading country. In 2012, the most recent data, the total value of China's trade is estimated at $3870bn, compared with the US with $3820bn. However, the accuracy of the Chinese data is being questioned by a number of experts, including Swiss investment bank UBS.

Both countries are currently working on trade blocs aimed at increasing intra-border trade. The US is involved with the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and Trans-Pacific Partnership, while China is working on its Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.