US exports have been hurt directly by European sovereign debt and banking crises, which have tipped Italy, Spain, Greece, and others into recession. As a result, the growth of US exports to the eurozone, which accounts for 18 percent of American exports, has slowed in each of the last six quarters.
The European crisis, meanwhile, is cascading on to other countries. China, for example, exports more to Europe than to America, and China’s slowdown can be traced in part to the euro crisis. China’s slowing, in turn, drags down global growth and further dampens US exports.