International Trade and Development

State-supported export promotion and foreign direct investments are now a key ingredient to state economic development strategies as state leaders recognize the importance of global markets in the creation of domestic jobs. States support international trade and investment by maintaining or contracting for overseas international trade offices that promote the state’s trade interests and facilitate trade and investment with potential international partners.

Over the past decade as the Chinese market became more and more open, several U.S. states have seen their exports to the country grow by leaps and bounds. These states are now pushing to further increase the amount of exports to China. A recent Stateline article highlights the efforts of three states: California, Washington, and Iowa.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, 29 states set new records for export sales and 35 states saw an increase in merchandise export growth in 2012—20 of whom saw growth rates of five percent or more.  Nationally, exports increased 4.5 percent from 2011 to 2012. The value of total goods and services exported in 2012 reached a record $2.2 trillion nationally and supported 9.8 million jobs.

As China and other countries that attracted U.S. businesses in the past face some of those same issues that prompted their moves overseas, many U.S. and foreign businesses are looking to move to the U.S. “A lot of the same issues are happening in China as has happened in other countries as they move from developing economies to a developed economy,” said Chris Steele, chief operating officer at Investment Consulting Associates, an international company that offers advice on foreign direct investment and site selection. “You’re starting to see more of a demand for commodities, as well as for labor and it’s fundamentally changing the dynamics of that marketplace.”

Stateline Midwest ~ February 2013

With the North American economy becoming ever more integrated, delays at the U.S.-Canada border have the potential to cost more and more money.With the North American economy becoming ever more integrated, delays at the U.S.-Canada border have the potential to cost more and more money.

Stateline Midwest ~ Issue Brief

The U.S. and Canadian economies are closely intertwined, but barriers to optimal trade remain an issue. States and provinces can and should have a role in helping remove these barriers.

Economic integration between neighboring states and nations is no longer a looming probability; it’s a global reality. Participants learned how their state’s small and medium-sized businesses can compete and thrive through innovative approaches from Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuño, CSG’s current president, and Canadian Ambassador and former Manitoba Premier Gary Doer. Both Fortuño and Doer are leaders in finding ways to develop short- and long-term economic progress and in developing solutions to help American businesses compete in the new global economy.

In the dismal economic news of the past few years, U.S. exports have been a bright spot, Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuño said Sunday.

“There is tremendous growth, for both the U.S. and Canada in terms of emerging markets that create unique opportunities for all of us,” Fortuño, the 2012 CSG president, said during the International Committee meeting. “There is a demand for quality throughout the world.”

We have several new transportation-related publications here in the Knowledge Center this month. Here are a few updates and additional resources on the topics they address.

The ongoing Panama Canal expansion is perhaps the most transformative global transportation project currently in progress. Upon completion in 2014, the expanded Panama Canal will facilitate an even greater flow of trade between Asia and the Americas and substantially impact the volume of trade reaching Gulf and East Coast ports in the United States. The impetus for the expansion of the Canal, approved by the people of Panama in October 2006, sprang from that nation's desire to continue to be a pivotal player in global trade patterns and strategically leverage its greatest asset–the Panama Canal–for its own economic well-being.