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Trade with the Asia-Pacific Region Benefits Pennsylvania’s Businesses and Workers

11/11/2011 - 8:07pm

In a world where 95 percent of consumers reside outside our borders, APEC comprises 40 percent of the global population. The Asia-Pacific region offers tremendous opportunities for U.S. exporters. 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. Many of these dynamic economies are growing faster than the world average and together generate 56 percent of global GDP in 2010.

Pennsylvania’s goods exports in 2010 totaled $35 billion. Of Pennsylvania’s total exports, $21 billion, or 61 percent, went to markets in the Asia-Pacific region. The top three product categories to APEC member economies exported in 2010 were Chemical, Machinery, and Primary Metal Manufactures.

Pennsylvania Exported $21 Billion in Goods to Asia-Pacific Countries in 2010:

 Pennsylvania Exports Graph

Goods Exports Support Jobs for Pennsylvania Workers: Jobs supported by Pennsylvania’s goods exports are estimated to be 271,000 in 2008 (latest data available). Over one-sixth (17.4 percent) of all manufacturing workers in Pennsylvania depend on manufacturing exports for their jobs in 2009 (latest data available). Although not measured, there are also additional jobs supported by Pennsylvania’s exports of services.

A total of 13,139 companies exported goods from Pennsylvania in 2008. Of those, 11,720 (89 percent) were small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with fewer than 500 employees.

Small and medium-sized firms generated one-third (34 percent) of Pennsylvania’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.