A new report has found that the import industry in the U.S. helps sustain millions of jobs.

According to the study from Trade Partnership Worldwide, more than half the firms that import directly are smaller businesses, with factories and farms purchasing more than 60 percent of U.S. imports. At the same time, the study also found that imports help generate exports and currently support more than 16 million jobs, including research and development and design positions.

"America's tech industry is one of the most advanced in the world because we use imports help us do what we do best – innovate. A market that is friendly not just to exports, but also to imports, helps drive innovation and jobs, which in turn leads to the products consumers want for work and play," Sage Chandler, senior director of trade for the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), said in a press release. 

The report was commissioned by the CEA, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Apparel and Footwear Associaton and the National Retail Federation. 

Meanwhile, financial experts are saying that a drop in U.S. import prices is a positive economic sign, Reuters reports. The Department of Labor said that revised March data showed a 0.2 percent decline, which was the biggest drop since December. Export prices fell 0.7 percent in March. 

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