Trade with the Asia-Pacific Region Benefits Texas’s Businesses and Workers
The Asia-Pacific region offers tremendous opportunities for U.S. exporters. In a world where 95 percent of consumers reside outside our borders, APEC comprises 40 percent of the global population. Many of these dynamic economies are growing faster than the world average and together generate 56 percent of global GDP in 2010. The Asia-Pacific region is the largest market in the world for U.S. exports and receives over 70 percent of U.S. agricultural exports.
Today, USTR.gov is showcasing the importance of trade with the Asia-Pacific Region for Texas’s businesses and workers.
Texas’s goods exports in 2010 totaled $207 billion, the largest figure of the 50 states. Of Texas’s total exports, $137 billion, or 66 percent, went to markets in the Asia-Pacific region. The top three product categories to APEC member economies exported in 2010 were computer and electronic products, chemicals, and machinery.
Jobs supported by Texas’s goods exports are estimated to be 731,800. More than one-quarter (26.3 percent) of all manufacturing workers in Texas depend on exports for their jobs. Although not measured, there are also additional jobs supported by Texas’s exports of services (2008 data are the latest available).
A total of 26,265 companies exported goods from Texas locations in 2008. Of those, 24,294 (92 percent) were small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with fewer than 500 employees.
Small and medium-sized firms generated nearly one-third (33 percent) of Texas’s total exports of merchandise in 2008. Notably, small and medium-sized firms benefit from the tariff-elimination provisions of free trade agreements. The transparency obligations, particularly those in the customs chapters, are vital to small and medium-sized firms, which may not have the resources to navigate customs and regulatory red tape.