According to a recently released report from Commerce, 35 states experienced export growth in 2012. Of theses states, 29 set new records for export sales. As a result, total exports of U.S. goods and services reached a record $2.2 trillion. The report shows that exports now support 9.8 million American jobs, an increase of 1.3 million (13.3 percent) from 2009.
Eleven states saw double-digit export growth over the course of 2012, paced by remarkable expansion in New Mexico (42 percent), Arkansas (36 percent), Nevada (28 percent), North Dakota (26 percent), and West Virginia (26 percent). A number of particularly thriving export commodities contributed to the growth within individual states. For example, Arkansas’ export expansion was driven in large part by the success of its largest export industry, transportation equipment, which grew 14 percent during 2012. Other export categories that saw substantial growth include furniture and fixtures (14 percent), petroleum and coal products (10 percent), electrical equipment (9 percent), and fabricated metal products (9 percent).
Commerce’s report emphasized the role of trade agreements in facilitating export growth, noting that “U.S. merchandise exports to countries with which the United States has a trade agreement outpaced other markets nearly two to one.” Deputy Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank further noted that the Obama administration will continue to pursue new trade agreements in order to achieve its goal of creating two million new export-supported jobs by 2014.