Archive for the ‘Export Data’ Category


Metro Exports Driving Economic Growth

September 18, 2012

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Michael Masserman and Ashley Zuelke work in the Office of  Export Policy, Promotion & Strategy.

Here’s a fact:  the 100 largest metro areas in our country make up just 12% of land area – but they make up 65% of our population and 75% of our nation’s GDP.  So when it comes to export growth, it should come as no surprise that metro areas are leading the way.

What may surprise you, is that thirteen smaller metropolitan areas across the U.S. — from Asheville, N.C., to Green Bay, Wisc., to Yakima, Wash. — for the first time joined the club of metropolitan markets that exported more than $1 billion in merchandise to the world.  These metro areas exported U.S. goods such as machinery, transportation equipment, and computer and electronic products which are in great demand all over the world.

The achievement of these thirteen metropolitan areas and recently released national data for 2011 metropolitan exports confirms the historic progress we are making toward reaching the President’s National Export Initiative (NEI) goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014.

The thirteen first-time members of the $1 billion metro export club represent just one story the recent data tells.

Metropolitan exports increased nearly 40 percent since 2009 to total $1.31 trillion in 2011.

This significant increase in U.S. exports since 2009 contributes to our ongoing recovery from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

The Detroit, Mich., metropolitan area exported $49.4 billion in 2011, registering for the first time above $49 billion since the 2007 pre-Recession level.  Detroit was the fourth largest export market in the U.S. in 2011, with its top export sectors including transportation equipment and machinery. In fact, at the national level, exports of motor vehicles and parts increased $51 billion, or 63 percent, between 2009 and 2011 and are still leading the way with $86.3 billion in exports through the first seven months of 2012– reflecting a vibrant and resurgent car and truck industry.

Los Angeles was the third largest metropolitan export market in 2011, with $72.7 billion in exports.  LA has also been a pilot city for the Metropolitan Export Initiative, a program that the Department of Commerce International Trade Administration has partnered with the Brookings Institute on to localize export policy and promotion efforts, and build a framework for long-term export growth.

These stories, and the ones throughout the country, reflect how metro areas drive our exports. Yet each community and metro has its own character, opportunities and needs.

Communities and metropolitan areas can leverage exports as an economic development tool.  Each metro, even without a structured initiative, has the potential to organize local economic leaders, evaluate its own export assets and potential, and develop a plan to make the most of that potential.  Small businesses need to know that through exporting comes tremendous opportunity, and that there are federal resources in metro areas across our country, such as the local U.S. Export Assistance Centers and Small Business Development Centers, that stand ready to help them with this.

Our Administration will do everything it can to help U.S. businesses succeed in the global marketplace so that next year we can see even more metros cross that $1 billion threshold.

International Trade Administration resources also are there to help. Find your local U.S. Export Assistance Center here and visit to get started.


TAKE-OFF! (traveling, that is) New Travel Indicators Website Launched

April 25, 2012

Iris Ferguson works in the Office of the Under Secretary within the International Trade Administration

Spring is in the air, and we here at the International Trade Administration are busy coming up with fresh ideas.

Our latest creation is the launch of ITA’s first-ever travel indicators website.  It comes just in time for the international Pow Wow show in L.A., where we’ve had lots of great conversations on boosting travel and tourism to and within the U.S.

The graph shows the number of B1/B2 visas issued in Fiscal Years 2009, 2010 and 2011 in China, Brazil, India and the remainder of visa-issuing posts worldwide.

The graph shows the number of B1/B2 visas issued in Fiscal Years 2009, 2010 and 2011 in China, Brazil, India and the remainder of visa-issuing posts worldwide.

What’s on this travel indicators site, you ask? Well, in addition to basic travel tips, it contains a set of 15 graphs that have tons of useful information for the travel and tourism industry and foreign visitors.

Ever wanted to know the average wait times at six major airports for international arrivals processing?  Or wanted the latest on airline capacity in key markets?  Well now you can check them out on our travel indicator website.
Of particular interest are the graphs on visa wait times.  Visitors can see how the State Department’s recent initiatives to increase staff, extend interview hours, and expand facilities have dramatically decreased the time it takes to get a visa in key markets, like Brazil.  Being able to see these average wait times in China, Brazil, and India is great news for international travelers looking to plan ahead.

We’re working to update this site monthly, so you’ll have the latest info coming in from the Departments of Commerce, State, and Homeland Security.

Go check it out for yourself!


U.S. Exporters (and Exports) Increased in 2010, Up 6 Percent from 2009

April 17, 2012

Natalie Soroka is an economist in the Office of Trade and Industry Information within the International Trade Administration where she focuses on international trade statistics and trends.

Last week the Census Bureau released, A Profile of U.S. Importing and Exporting Companies, 2009-2010, which provides information on U.S. companies that can be linked to import or export transactions (otherwise referred to as “identified” companies). In 2010, more than 293,000 U.S. companies exported goods, nearly 16,500 more than exported in 2009.  These companies exported $1.1 trillion in goods in 2010, up 21 percent from 2009. Most of these exporters (266,400 or 91 percent) were single location companies, however the remaining 9 percent of companies that operated from multiple locations accounted for 75 percent of the “known export value” (the value of export transactions that can be tied to specific companies).Graph showing the number of companies that only export (212,419), only import (101,008) or both (80,640)

What do these companies export? Manufacturers accounted for the largest portion of known value in 2010 (60 percent). In addition, the top 50 manufacturers accounted for 43 percent of the entire sector’s known export value. This is higher than the share represented by the top 50 wholesalers (36 percent) and other companies (37 percent) in their respective sectors. Large companies dominate manufacturers’ exports, with 3 percent of manufacturing exporters accounting for 81 percent of manufacturing export value.

On the import side, the number of importers also increased from 2009, up to more than 181,600 businesses. It should be noted that importers and exporters are not mutually exclusive. Of the more than 394,000 companies engaged in trade, more than a fifth (80,640) both exported and imported goods in 2010.

Like exports, while most importers operate from a single location (90 percent), it is the few multiple location companies that account for most (76 percent) of the known import value. Importers also tend to be slightly more concentrated towards the top firms than exporters.

However, international trade isn’t only a big guy’s game. Small and medium-sized companies (those with fewer than 500 employees), or “SMEs”, accounted for 98 percent of all identified exporters in 2010 and 34 percent of known export value.  While they may only contribute 19 percent of the sector’s $683 billion in exports, 97 percent of manufacturing exporters are SMEs. As for wholesalers, SMEs accounted for 62 percent of the sector’s $268 billion in exports.

Unlike previous versions of the Profile, this version includes information on SME companies by 3-digit North American Industry Classification (NAICS) code. In 2010, merchant wholesalers of durable goods comprised both the largest number of SME exporters (60,571) and the highest known export value among these industries ($91 billion).

As for our export and import markets, more than half of identified companies exported to or imported from only one foreign market, and 82 percent of exporters and 90 percent of importers traded with one of the top 25 U.S. trading partners. Exports to Canada, the largest market in 2010, also showed the highest increase in known dollar value compared to 2009 (up $34 billion). On the import side, China was the largest supplier for U.S. importers as well as showed the highest growth in known value, increasing by $66 billion in 2010.

On a state level, Texas, California, New York, Washington, and Florida together accounted for 43 percent of known exports.  Similarly, California, Texas, New Jersey, New York and Illinois accounted for half of the known import value in 2010. Many states posted increases in 2010, with Maine showing the highest increase in known export value (up 46 percent) and New Mexico showing the highest increase in known import value (up 55 percent).

More information and the full profile are both available on the Office of Trade and Industry Information website.


Jobs Supported by Exports Surge by 1.2 million

March 14, 2012

Martin Johnson and Chris Rasmussen are Senior Economists in the Office of Industry Analysis within the International Trade Administration

For the first time in U.S. history annual exports of goods and services crossed the $2 trillion threshold exceeding $2.1 trillion in 2011.  This increase in exports builds on the strong growth in 2010, and in 2011 exports of U.S. goods and services were up over 33 percent from 2009. This growth in exports corresponded with growth in jobs supported by U.S. exports.

We estimate that in 2011 jobs supported by exports increased to 9.7 million in 2011, up 1.2 million since 2009. While the total value of U.S. exports set an all time record in 2011, jobs supported by exports in 2011 were just shy of the 2008 peak of 9.8 million.  In 2011, every billion dollars of U.S. exports supported 5,080 jobs.

Traditionally we think of export oriented jobs as those engaged in making and transporting goods, like at ports, rail, trucks, and manufacturing facilities, as well as at customs brokers and freight forwarders.

However, jobs all along the supply chain of both manufacturing and service industries are captured in this estimate. That means that all of the people who make and install parts that eventually end up in large equipment or small electronics sold abroad are included in this estimate.

In addition, people who are involved in exporting services, such as legal and financial services and travel and tourism are also included.

While your company may not export directly, if you sell products or services to one that does, you are part of this overall export equation.


Trends in 2011 Trade – Records Set, Expectations Exceeded

March 5, 2012

The Office of Industry Analysis provides information and analysis pertaining to issues affecting U.S. industry competitiveness.

It’s been said before that exporting has been a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy economic outlook. However, trends are improving in important areas such as manufacturing employment and productivity. Manufacturing is seeing a resurgence in investment and hiring. The average annual productivity in manufacturing grew 2.8 percent from 2010 to 2011. Also, while the manufacturing unemployment rate was 9.9 percent in January, 2011, by January, 2012, it had dropped to 8.4 percent.  Beyond what’s on the domestic horizon, more U.S. subsidiaries of foreign countries are also bringing manufacturing and jobs to the U.S., contributing to the export boom.

This past year saw a number of key records set and overall export growth on track to double exports by 2014.  For the first time, total exports exceeded $2 trillion, $2.1 trillion to be exact. U.S. merchandise exports increased $202 billion to a record $1.48 trillion from 2010 to 2011.U.S. Exports to the top ten markets which include Canada, Mexico, China, Japan, UK, Germany, South Korea, Brazil, the Netherlands, and Hong Kong

Exports of petroleum and coal products jumped $40 billion, to a record $101 billion from 2010 to 2011.  The increase in these products accounted for one-fifth of the $202 billion national increase.

Looking more closely at categories that had some of the strongest growth we see records set in nearly every major manufacturing category. Industrial supplies represented the largest goods export category (end-use) for the U.S. with a record $499.5 billion worth of exports in 2011, followed by capital goods (a record $491.4 billion); consumer goods (a record $176.3 billion); automotive vehicles and parts (a record $132.5 billion); foods, feeds and beverages (a record $126.1 billion); and other goods ($54.9 billion).

Exports of services were also record-breaking, as was the overall surplus the U.S. enjoys in the services trade balance. The services trade surplus reached $179 billion, up 22.8 percent from the $145.8 billion surplus in 2010. The U.S. showed large surpluses in royalties and license fees ($84.1 billion), other private services ($80.3 billion) and travel ($36.4 billion).

It stands to reason that while the nation as a whole set records for exports, most states also saw growth in their exports to the world. Thirty-six states experienced double-digit merchandise export growth in 2011; 23 states exceeded the national average of 16 percent growth for merchandise exports.

Texas accounted for 21% of the nation’s increase in merchandise exports from 2010 to 2011. Texas, California, Illinois, Louisiana, and New York accounted for close to one-half of the increase in goods exports from 2010-2011.

Some of the states that saw the largest percentage growth in exports last year include West Virginia, Utah, New Mexico and Nevada.

Merchandise exports to some of our largest trading partners also grew to record-setting heights last year.  Our exports to Mexico, The Netherlands, Australia and Brazil grew more than 20 percent from 2010.

U.S. merchandise exports were also at record levels to all of the priority emerging markets under the President’s National Export Initiative, including China, Brazil, India, Turkey, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, South Africa, and Vietnam.

Our export growth will continue as U.S. businesses find new markets and new partners and expand on the current partnerships they’ve already established.

For more information about this and other export data, visit the International Trade Administration’s Office of Industry Analysis


2011 Export Success Highlights

January 13, 2012

The International Trade Administration helps thousands of companies every year and we’d like to highlight a few of our most recent success stories from this past year.

Sirchie of North Carolina wins $1.1 million contract with Brazilian government

Sirchie of Youngsville, North Carolina manufactures crime scene investigation kits and materials used by law enforcement officials worldwide. Sirchie contacted the U.S. Commercial Service office in Raleigh for assistance in selling law enforcement products to the government of Brazil.

Sirchie used a Gold Key Service, which would introduce them to prospective buyers in Brazil as well as give them the opportunity to meet with key industry officials and ministries, including local police and law enforcement. In advance of the Sirchie’s trip to Brazil, the trade specialists in the Commercial Service in Brazil also provided Sirchie with information on the government procurement process in Brazil and how Sirchie could tap into opportunities selling to the Brazilian government.

As a result of assistance from the Commercial Service, Sirchie won a Brazilian government tender and sold $1.1 million of export product to the Brazilian government.

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company of Illinois Wins $51 million project in Bahrain

This past November, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company, LLC (GDD, Oak Brook, IL) signed a contract with the Bahraini Ministry of Housing to provide dredging and land reclamation services for the East Hidd Housing Development project. GDD competed against companies from the Netherlands, Algeria, and China. The strong advocacy effort provided by the Commercial Service and the U.S. Embassy staff in Bahrain was key to the success of this advocacy campaign. The final project value was $57 million, with $51 million in U.S. export content, supporting 280 U.S. jobs.

Food Concessionaire, International Meal Company (IMC) of Massachusetts Overcomes Panamanian Trade Barrier

IMC, headquartered in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Boston, Massachusetts, overcame a foreign trade barrier with the assistance of the Department of Commerce’s Trade Agreements Compliance Program, led by the Market Access and Compliance Unit that threatened to have its airport food‐court concession revoked.

IMC’s concessions in Panama are worth $6 million. After winning a bidding process and opening various food and beverage concessions at Panama’s Tocumen Airport, IMC’s multi‐million dollar investment was jeopardized by the Government of Panama’s failure to ratify its contract.

The International Trade Administration and the U.S. Embassy intervened on behalf of IMC with the Panamanian Government and Tocumen Airport Authority, urging the Panamanian Comptroller to review and ratify IMC’s contract for the food‐court concessions. Thanks to these efforts, the contract is now ratified, and IMC is able to continue its operations in Panama with contractual protection.

Garmin Marine Navigation GPS Units of Kansas Navigates Turkish Customs

Garmin of Olathe, Kansas, tapped into the resources of the International Trade Administration to ensure its $1.5 million worth of marine navigational GPS units cleared Turkish customs. Turkish customs claimed that the CE Mark Directive on Radio and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment (R&TTE) required that these products be tested and certified at a third-party lab recognized by the European Union (EU). However, the R&TTE Directive allows for the marine navigational GPS units imported by Garmin to be self‐certified.

ITA officials, working in close collaboration with the Commercial Service at the U.S. Embassy in Turkey, worked with Turkish government officials to explain that marine navigational GPS units can be self‐certified by an accredited independent lab, in compliance with the relevant EU standard. As a result, Turkish customs officials correctly assessed Garmin’s products and accepted its self‐certification.

Garmin reported in May that its most recent shipments to Turkey had gone through customs smoothly and the company does not anticipate any trouble getting these products into Turkey in the future.

These are but a few of the successful sales and logistical issues that the global staff of the International Trade Administration helped to realize for American businesses. To learn more about pursuing overseas markets or to get help resolving a market access issue, visit


October 2011 Trade Facts and Figures – Autos and Europe

December 9, 2011

Cory Churches is a Communication and Outreach Specialist in the Office of Public Affairs at the International Trade Administration

Today the Commerce Department announced the figures for international trade in goods and services for the month of October. Year-to-date, exports have grown nearly 16 percent. One area that has had particularly strong growth in exports is the auto sector. Exports of passenger cars in the first ten months of 2011 is nearly 25 percent over the same period last year. Those vehicles are finding homes in driveways and garages in Canada, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and the UK.

As Secretary Bryson said this morning,

Today’s numbers clearly show the positive impact of exports on the American economy. So far this year we have seen six months of record-breaking growth of exports. Our initiatives are working for the American people. Since the President implemented the National Export Initiative in January 2010 monthly exports have increased 25 percent.

Exports continue to be a bright spot in our still recovering economy.

Europe and the EU have been in the news constantly and it’s worth noting that in 2010, exports to the 27 members of the European Union still represented nearly 19 percent of U.S. merchandise exports. The European Union is an important market for high value U.S. goods, with the largest U.S. export categories to the EU-27 market being chemicals, transportation equipment, computer and electronic products and machinery.

Demand in the Euro-zone countries has been the slowest to recover continuing into 2011. Through the first ten months of 2011, U.S. merchandise exports to these countries increased 13.4 percent. European Union members outside the Euro-zone have grown at a more rapid 15.6 percent. Outside the Euro-zone, the United Kingdom has led growth in  2011 with U.S. merchandise exports increasing 15.1 percent or $6.1 billion in the first ten months of 2011 (compared to the same period of 2010).

You can find more facts and figures about our trade with the EU and Europe in our Export Fact Sheet and about today’s trade figure release in the Census Bureau’s full report.


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