WASHINGTON – The International Trade Administration (ITA) recently announced new data that show Arizona merchandise exports increased 12 percent in 2011 compared to 2010, growing from $15.6 billion to $17.5 billion.
“Arizona exporters continue to sell some of the most innovative products and services to world destinations, advancing President Obama’s National Export Initiative that is on pace to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014,” said Francisco Sánchez, Under Secretary for International Trade. “Eighty-five percent of world economic growth over the next five years will take place outside of the United States. As the U.S. economy builds momentum, we must continue to equip U.S. businesses with all the necessary tools to increase exports that support millions of high-paying jobs across the country.”
Arizona’s 2011 merchandise export sales increased to many top destinations, including Japan (up 34 percent), Malaysia (21 percent), the United Kingdom (20 percent), Germany (16 percent), and Mexico (14 percent). Key merchandise export categories include computer and electronic products, transportation equipment, machinery manufactures, agricultural products, and minerals and ores.
Karen Dickinson, Chair of the Arizona District Export Council, adds that “the data shows that US companies that export pay higher overall average wages and make higher profits. More and more Arizona companies are starting to get that and that can only be good for the state’s economy.”
“While many Arizona businesses are exporting, many more firms have yet to tap their export potential,” said Eric Nielsen, Director of the U.S. Commercial Service in Arizona. “Only a small fraction of all U.S. companies export, and of those that do, 58 percent sell to only one foreign market. There’s plenty of room to grow more exports, and our office, together with local partners, can assist in Arizona companies’ efforts.”
One way Arizona firms can expand international sales and promote job growth is through the Arizona Commerce Authority’s State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant program. The STEP grant combines funds from the U.S. Small Business Administration (U.S. SBA) with ACA matching funds to provide financial assistance to qualified small and medium-sized Arizona companies eager to build their exports. For example, Arizona companies will offset some of the costs associated with participating in several important international industry events in 2012, including:
FIDAE 2012 Aerospace Exhibition in Santiago, Chile, March 27-April 1, 2012;
- ACCESS 2012: Doing Business in Africa, the Middle East & South Asia, April 24-25, 2012 at the Thunderbird School Global Management in Glendale, AZ;
- Border Gateway Service in Sonora, Mexico (ongoing);
- Farnborough Airshow 2012 in Farnborough, England, July 9-15, 2012; and,
- Export University 101 in Flagstaff, Arizona, September 20, 2012.