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Morrie Goodman
Pat Woodward 
(202) 482-4883 

Curt Cultice
(202) 482-3809

Wednesday, November 10, 1999 


YORK, PA -- President William Jefferson Clinton today joined Commerce Secretary William M. Daley in releasing a Commerce Department report that demonstrates U.S. exports are driving the economies of cities around the nation. New statistics contained in the updated report on the export activity of U.S. metropolitan areas reveal that sales abroad have become increasingly important to the economic well-being of cities throughout the nation, with 91 percent of the 253 metro areas studied recording higher export growth in 1998 than in 1993. 

Export sales from the 253 metro areas studied grew by $166.5 billion from 1993-98, representing a total gain of 45 percent. Metro areas studied accounted for $536.4 billion or nearly 80 percent of all U.S. exports of goods in 1998. 

"One cannot overstate the importance of exports in creating jobs and economic growth and opportunity in our cities," said Commerce Secretary William M. Daley. "The findings not only demonstrate the effectiveness of the Clinton Administration's long-term export promotion strategy, they also show the critical importance of our ongoing efforts in the WTO to open markets and assure a level playing field in world trade."

"When it comes to trade, "Fortress America" is no longer a viable strategy," Daley said. "America's prosperity in the years to come will depend on how well our companies and our workers are able to compete in the world economy."

The 1998 data shows that export growth by the 253 metro areas studied was down 0.9% (less than one percent) from $541.0 billion in 1997, due largely to the Asian financial crisis. Nevertheless, a total of 108 metro areas--over 40 percent of the MSA's for which data are available--realized export growth in 1998 despite challenging world market conditions. 

The Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Washington metro area was the nation's top exporter in 1998, selling a total of $34 billion in merchandise to foreign markets--the highest ever one-year total for a metro area. This was followed by Detroit ($27 billion), New York City ($26.6 billion), and 1997's top exporter, San Jose ($26.1 billion). 

Rounding out the top ten metro exporters were Los Angeles-Long Beach ($25.6 billion), Chicago ($22.9 billion,) Houston ($19.1 billion), Miami ($12.9 billion), Minneapolis-St. Paul ($11.7 billion), and Boston ($9.6 billion). 

A total of 93 metro areas posted 1998 export sales of $1 billion or more--only one less than the 94 cities that were members of this "billion-dollar club" in 1997.  Another 36 metropolitan areas recorded 1998 export sales ranging from just over $500 million to just under $1 billion. An additional 97 metro areas generated exports between $100 million and $500 million. Over the 1993-98 period, the number of cities in the exclusive exporting "billion-dollar club" rose from 76 to 93, a gain of nearly 25 percent.

As in previous years, the metro areas that posted the largest percentage increases in export sales during 1998 were almost exclusively small and mid-sized cities scattered throughout the United States.

The data--which will serve as a key tool for state, local and private sector organizations in developing export strategies and measuring results--includes 1998 export sales totals for the 253 metro areas with comparative figures for each year from 1993-97. Supplementary tables to be posted on the Internet will provide industry and destination detail for a number of cities. 

According to studies, jobs supported by U.S. goods exports, directly or indirectly, pay wages that are 13 percent higher than the average domestic wage. Jobs directly supported by high technology exports have average hourly earnings 34 percent higher than the national average. 

U.S. exports support more than 12 million jobs here at home, including positions in the most competitive U.S. industrial service sectors.

NOTE: The metropolitan area exports totals and 1998 state export profiles are available on the U.S. Department of Commerce Website by Clicking Here.

The data presented show export sales by exporters of record that are located in the metro areas studied. The location from which exports are sold is not always the same as the production location. The figures show the extent to which local businesses have marketed products abroad, and they provide an indication of the degree to which local companies--and their employees--depend on export markets.




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