Enterprising States Report: Top Performers in Exports and International Trade
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Boosting exports by America’s businesses is an essential element of a meaningful agenda for creating jobs in the next decade and beyond. Exports are expected to be increasingly important to the nation’s businesses in the years ahead because up to 85% of the world’s economic growth in the next five years is projected to take place outside the United States.
Consequently, every state is now investing in strengthening the export acumen of businesses, both large and small, to reach international markets that are aligned with their most competitive sectors, manufacturing and service.
In 2012, the top-10-performing export states were determined by ranking states across four measures of export activity:
- Export Intensity: export activity as a share of gross state product
- Growth in export intensity
- Change in a state’s share of total national exports
- Growth in overall gross exports since 2002
Only “manufactured exports” are included in the metrics, excluding bulk commodities that are often attributed to the state of the port location instead of the originating state.
Top Export States
- Louisiana – Louisiana is the top export state, ranking no worse than fourth on all four metrics; it is also increasing its share of the nation’s export activity faster than all but one state. Oil is the state’s top export, along with other agricultural and energy commodities. Twenty percent of the state’s exports go to China and Japan, with another 10% exported to Mexico.
- Utah – Utah is a top-five performer on all four export metrics and is the second-fastest growing export state overall. The state’s exporting of non-monetary gold has nearly tripled since 2008 and accounts for a majority of the state’s exports by value. Other important exports from the Beehive State include electronic memory circuits, aircraft parts, vehicle airbag systems, and x- ray equipment and tubes. Utah’s biggest trading partners are the United Kingdom, at 35%, and Hong Kong at 20% of total exports.
- South Carolina – Fast becoming an industrial hub in the southeast, South Carolina is now the second-highest state for export intensity. The state’s exporting sectors continue to be competitive; it ranks sixth in growth of its share of the nation’s total exports. Nearly 28% of the state’s export output is in large passenger vehicles, a category that has increased 150% since 2008. South Carolina is also a major exporter of gas turbines, and parts and tires. Sixteen percent of its goods are exported to Germany, 15% to Canada and 12% to China.
- Texas – The Lone Star State is the nation’s top exporter in terms of activity as a share of the total state economy. Texas is a major exporter of oil and its derivatives, but its broad-based economy is a major source of other products including boring machinery; electronic parts and telecommunications equipment; chemicals; civilian aircraft; and, increasingly, automotive components and large vehicles. More than a third of the goods leaving the country from Texas are destined for Mexico.
- Mississippi – Mississippi is the fifth-fastest growing state for overall gross exports and for growth in exports as a share of GSP. Much of the state’s exporting is based upon oil and other chemicals and pigments, but the state has seen rapid growth in the past year in exports of passenger vehicles and automotive parts. The state’s top three trading partners are Canada (16% of exports), Panama (14%), and Mexico (10.5%).
- Delaware – Delaware is the nation’s 16th-ranked state for export intensity and the ninth-ranked state in gross export growth since 2002. In 2011, the state exported more than $2 billion in medication and pharmaceuticals, a jump of more than 75% since 2008. More than 44% of the state’s exports are destined for two countries: Canada (27%) and the United Kingdom (17%).
- Georgia – The Peach State finishes in the top 25 in all four exporting measurements, but is growing its share of the nation’s total exports faster than all but four other states. Georgia exported $5 billion in civilian aircraft, engines, and parts in 2011, up 63% from 2008. Over the same time period, Georgia’s exports of automobiles tripled to 917 million in 2011. Other major products include wood pulp, gas turbines, and frozen chicken.
- Nevada – While exports still comprise a smaller share of the state’s economy, Nevada makes the top 10 because it’s the fastest-growing export state and is increasing the share of exports in its economy the fastest. Gold accounts for 45% of the state’s total exports, followed by copper ore, coin-operated games, and non-industrial diamonds. Exports of integrated electronic circuits have more than doubled since 2008.
- Tennessee – Tennessee’s top exported product in 2011 was surgical and medical instruments, followed by civilian aircraft and parts, and digital-data-processing machinery. The state exported $721 million in large piston engines in 2011, up from just $30 million in 2008. Forty percent of the Volunteer State’s goods are destined for Canada and Mexico, with another 12% headed to China and Japan.
- Iowa – Iowa’s agricultural prowess is reflected in its major exports. Corn and pork products account for 15% of the state’s output, with another 13% in tractors, front-end loaders and other equipment. The state placed no worse than 17th in any export measure, and is the ninth–fastest- growing state for overall export value.