Export Nation: How U.S. Metros Lead National Export Growth and Boost Competitiveness

From Brookings Mark Muro:

Metropolitan Policy Program’s release today of a major new report: “Export Nation: How U.S. Metros Lead National Export Growth and Boost Competitiveness.” Related to other work of ours you have been following, this survey provides a unique and timely analysis of exports of goods and services from metropolitan areas, including rankings of the 100 largest metros according to the level of their export production, the number of jobs supported by exports, and other criteria.

Given your interest in the nature of the next economy in America, regional industry clusters and innovation systems, and our work in general I thought you would like a slightly early heads up on the report release. You can view the final report, major findings for the largest 100 metros, andregional companion papers for the Great Lakes and Intermountain West here.

In the meantime, I especially want to let you know about the compelling forum we are holding tomorrow on this topic at Brookings from 9:30 am—12:00 pm. Brookings Trustee and Met Council Member James Rubin, Senior Partner at BC Partners, will provide welcoming remarks, and Bruce Katz, Vice President and Director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, will present key findings. Chrystia Freeland, Global Editor-at-Large for Reuters News, will moderate a panel discussion focused on strategies that businesses, as well as federal and local governments, should employ to advance a national export initiative. Participants in the panel discussions will include the Honorable Fred P. Hochberg, Chairman, Export-Import Bank of the United States, and the Honorable Francisco Sanchez, Undersecretary, Commerce for International Trade, U.S. Department of Commerce, among others. For more information on the July 27th event and to register, please click here. I have also attached the event announcement.

Do check it out if you are in DC tomorrow.

As to the report, we contend in it—along with providing unprecedented new metro-level data on regional export activity—that if the U.S. is to achieve a significant surge in exports, metropolitan areas will play a substantial role. By demonstrating the key role that exports can play in stimulating and rebalancing our national economy via our 100 largest metro areas, Export Nation has—I believe—enormous market, political and policy implications.

To give you a sense of this report here are some of the key findings:

¾ The largest 100 metropolitan areas produce most of the nation’s exports. Home to 65 percent of the nation’s population, the 100 largest metropolitan areas produced an estimated 64 percent of U.S. exports in 2008, including 62 percent of U.S. manufactured goods and 75 percent of services.

¾ Increasing the nation’s exports holds out the potential of generating a significant number of good-paying jobs in the United States at a time when they are much needed. U.S. exports supported 11.8 million jobs nationally and 7.7 million jobs in the top 100 metro areas in 2008. These jobs amounted to 8.3 percent of the nation’s employment and 8.1 percent of all employment in the largest 100 metros in 2008.

¾ Strong manufacturing and patent producing metropolitan areas generate the highest shares of exports from their output.Manufacturing industries are the most export oriented, so metropolitan areas that specialize in manufacturing tend to export the largest shares of their GMP. Export-oriented metropolitan areas are also significantly more innovative, as defined by their rate of patent production.

¾ Future export growth will come increasingly from large emerging markets. Though Canada and Mexico are the nation’s two largest trading partners, U.S. exports to Brazil, India, and China (the so-called BIC countries) have been increasing rapidly during the last decade, doubling in size between 2003 and 2008. It is estimated that middle-class consumption in these three nations, which was approximately 8.4 percent of the global middle-class consumption in 2010, could reach 26 percent by 2020. The U.S. has not taken full advantage of the growth in these countries.

At any rate, please do consider joining us tomorrow for what should be a dynamic forum and otherwise please don’t hesitate to let me know what you think of this report once you study it.