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Metropolitan Areas Set Goods Export Records

Sept. 20, 2016
156 metro areas exported more than $1 billion of goods to consumers around the globe.

U.S. metropolitan areas exported more than $1.3 trillion in merchandise in 2015, accounting for 89% of all goods exported from the U.S., according to a recent U.S. Department of Commerce report.

The 2015 Metropolitan Area Export Overview states that 156 metro areas exported more than $1 billion of goods to consumers around the globe.

“In metropolitan areas from Abilene, Texas, to York, Pa., exports continue to be a source of growth for the local economy,” says U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “Exports from 119 metropolitan areas increased last year, leading to new records for places like Cincinnati, Las Vegas, and Sacramento.

The report includes the following highlights:

· The Houston-Woodland Hills-Sugarland metropolitan area was ranked No. 1 for the fourth consecutive year with total goods exports exceeding $97 billion.

·  New York-Newark-Jersey City; Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim; and Chicago-Naperville-Elgin round out the top five metropolitan areas for goods exports.

· The Houston, New York, Seattle, and Los Angeles metro areas each exceeded $50 billion of goods exports in 2015 for a fourth consecutive year.

· El Paso, Texas, was the largest metro area to register double-digit export growth both in 2015 and from 2009-2015, shipping $24.6 billion in goods abroad in 2015. This represented a 22% increase from 2014, and a 217% increase from 2009.

· Houston was the largest metropolitan area exporter of goods to potential Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) markets with goods exports totaling $36.2 billion in 2015.

· There were 14 metro areas that exported more than $20 billion of goods in 2015.

Increasing exports has been a top priority and the Commerce Department has been a consistent partner in trying to keep businesses competitive by promoting the benefits of free trade agreements (FTAs). The agreements are a critical tool in helping U.S. exporters access the more than 95% of the world’s consumers living outside the United States. Markets with FTAs in force accounted for more than half of total goods exports for 195 metropolitan areas.

Potential new trade agreement partners among the TPP markets were top destinations for 21 out of the top 50 metropolitan areas in 2015.