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September 18, 2012

U.S. Cities Exported $1.3 Trillion Last Year, Including Energy and Electronic Products



Energy, electronic, computer and automotive products are just a few of the manufactured goods that are being exported by the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, according to a recent report from the Department of Commerce.

Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank released new data this week showing that in 2011, merchandise exports from 367 U.S. metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) totaled $1.31 trillion, with merchandise exports from non-metropolitan/rural areas totaling an additional $174.9 billion.

In fact, the report finds that, while America’s cities make up just 12 percent of the nation’s land area, they produce 75 percent of the nation’s GDP (gross domestic product); 150 U.S. metropolitan areas (40.9 percent) exported more than $1 billion in merchandise internationally in 2011; and 11 of these metropolitan areas exported merchandise worth more than $25 billion.

Moreover, merchandise exports from MSAs have increased nearly 40 percent since 2009, a rate which is helping to make significant progress toward meeting the President Barack Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI (News - Alert)) goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014.


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Among the top 25 metropolitan area exporters, merchandise exports increased by 17.4 percent between 2010 and 2011. The three largest metropolitan area exporters showed growth rates roughly at or above the national growth rate with exports from New York up 23.5 percent from 2010, Houston (up 29.6 percent) and Los Angeles (up 16.9 percent). Much of the growth in these metropolitan areas was fueled by exports of transportation equipment, chemicals, computer and electronic products, petroleum and coal products, and primary metal manufacturing.

New Orleans showed the highest growth in exports between 2010 and 2011, with exports up by 45.6 percent over this period. Other metropolitan areas that showed high growth in exports included Salt Lake City, (up 45.3 percent from 2010) and Peoria, Ill. (up 36.7 percent from 2010).

Consistent with U.S. trade figures, metropolitan area exports were strongest to the nation’s North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico. Detroit represented the largest metropolitan area exporter to Canada in 2011, with exports from Detroit, representing 7.4 percent of the total U.S. metropolitan area exports to Canada. Other major metropolitan area exporters to Canada in 2011 also included Chicago, New York, Houston, and Los Angeles.

On itsblog, “Tradeology,” the International Trade Administration, a division of the Department of Commerce, reports that, at year-end 2011, 13 “smaller” metropolitan areas nationwide for the first time joined the club of metropolitan markets that exported more than $1 billion in merchandise to the world. 

These metropolitan statistical areas are: Mount Vernon-Anacortes, Washington(with $1.5 billion in merchandise shipments in 2011),  Oshkosh-Neenah, Wisconsin($1.3 billion),  Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, Florida($1.3 billion), Rocky Mount, North Carolina, ($1.2 billion), Gulfport-Biloxi, Mississippi ($1.2 billion), Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusvillle, Florida ( $1.2 billion), Stockton, California ($1.1 billion), Yakima, Washington ($1.1 billion), Lakeland-Winter Haven, Florida ($1 billion), Champaign-Urbana, Illinois ($1 billion), Green Bay, Wisconsin ($1 billion),  Asheville, North Carolina ($1 billion) and Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, Washington($1 billion).

The International Trade Administration is urging communities and metropolitan areas to leverage exports as an economic development tool.  Find your local U.S. Export Assistance Centerhere and visit Export.gov to get started.

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Edited by Allison Boccamazzo

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