U.S. exports grow but are well behind Obama administration’s goal


Hefty export growth has pushed the economic recovery for many cities around the country, but the U.S. is still below its potential.

The top 100 metro areas in the U.S. account for 64% of the nation’s total exports, and all but one of these regions had exports increase in the 10 years since 2003, according to a report by the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program.

“Exports have been a critical driver of the post-recession recovery in the U.S. and its metro areas,” said Brad McDearman, a director of the institution’s Metropolitan Export Initiative.


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But the report notes that the U.S. is still $200 billion behind the Obama administration’s goal of doubling exports in five years. Only 12 out of the top 100 areas have kept up the 15% yearly growth rate required to hit that target.

Manufacturing has led the way for export growth in most cities, with services driving at least half of export growth in more than 10% of the metro areas. The three industries that account for the most post-recession growth, the study found, were transportation equipment, petroleum and coal products, and computers and electronics.


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