Imports From Southeast Asia

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Imports from Southeast Asia to the U.S. totaled over $231 billion in 2020 alone, and the value of imports from countries like Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam will grow. Common business-to-business (B2B) imports from these countries include machinery, furniture, bedding, clothing, footwear, rubber, food, sugar and sweeteners, processed fruit and vegetables, tree nuts, beverage bases, rice and vegetable oils. 

Importing from Southeast Asia may have new advantages for American businesses. Consider how sourcing goods from countries like Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam can benefit you.


Companies in the renewable energy sector benefit from importing from Thailand to the USA by air. In June 2022, President Biden paused tariffs on solar panels imported from Southeast Asia. Sourcing solar panels from Thailand and nations like Cambodia, Malaysia and Vietnam will now be more affordable without the extra costs.


Malaysia is the 14th-largest exporter to the U.S., measured by product volume. Common exports include machinery, rubber, optical and medical instruments, furniture, bedding, cocoa, industrial alcohols, feeds and grain, cereals, pasta and baked goods.

A poultry ban effective in early June 2022 sought to address a shortage and briefly halted importing related products from Malaysia to the United States. The government has eased this ban since then.


Vietnam is the sixth-largest supplier for the U.S. and typically exports machinery, furniture, bedding, knit clothing, footwear, nuts, unroasted coffee, dog and cat food, sweeteners and spices.

Imports of shoes and footwear from Vietnam to the USA increased in June 2022, despite worries that inflation would reduce consumer spending in the USA. Imports of Vietnamese footwear increased by 5.6% according to year-to-date data in April 2022. 

The U.S. Department of Commerce launched an investigation into whether Vietnam violated tax rules by including parts made in China in wooden cabinets destined for sale in the U.S. market. This ongoing investigation’s findings may impact imports from Vietnam to the USA by air, specifically for companies purchasing wood products.

How Universal Cargo Can Help

Is your business eager to work with manufacturers in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and other parts of Southeast Asia? If you want to import quality products for your business, you need reliable air freight to handle your largest and most time-sensitive shipments. Universal Cargo has full-service solutions for all your needs, over 30 years of experience and representation in all major ports to serve you better. Request a quote for Universal Cargo air freight logistics. 

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