Riverside County Exporting Gets Global Attention

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Riverside County Office of Foreign Trade recently reported that a new study from the Brooking Institution, a Washington, D.C. think tank, ranked the Riverside metropolitan statistical area 24th among the top 100 metropolitan areas for export performance.  The following is an excerpt from the article published in Export Magazine:

With $10.9 billion of export value, the Riverside MSA ranked just behind Pittsburgh and ahead of the Denver, Charlotte and Baltimore MSAs.

The report, entitled “Export Nation 2012: How U.S. Metropolitan Areas Are Driving National Growth,” found that, even as the country was losing jobs overall, export-supported jobs rose almost 6 percent in 2010, the most recent year for which statistics were available.

Exports directly supported 39,400 jobs in the Riverside MSA, which ranked the area 23rd in the nation in 2010, the most recent year for which statistics are available. Exports supported 73,600 jobs overall, which ranked the area 24th in the U.S., Brookings found.

“This report documents very clearly what many of us in Riverside County have known intuitively – exports are making a difference in the success of local business and in the lives of Riverside County families who depend on jobs that are supported by our exporting success,” said Supervisor and Board Chair, John Tavaglione.

The overall value of exports in the Riverside MSA rose 9.5 percent from 2009 to 2010, an increase over the previous five years, when annualized export values increased about 9.3 percent, according to Brookings.

Exports made up about 8.3 percent of the Riverside MSA’s gross domestic product in 2010, the study found. The Riverside MSA experienced double-digit growth in nearly all of its top 10 export sectors, according to Brookings. Such sectors included:

  • Transportation equipment + 13.7%
  • Machinery + 18.6%
  • Computers + 20.5%
  • Agriculture + 9%
  • Food + 14.2%
  • Plastics + 13.7%
  • Freight + 10%
  • Petroleum + 67%
  • Metal products + 13%
  • Medical equipment + 1.7%

Among other, much larger, areas of California, Los Angeles MSA ranked #1, followed by San Francisco (#6), San Jose (#11) and San Diego (#17). Las Vegas finished #36. Canada and Mexico remain the largest export markets for U.S. companies, with about a quarter of good and services that were exported in 2010 headed to those two countries, Brookings found. Emerging markets for U.S. exports include Brazil, India and China.

Brookings is not the only entity to recognize Riverside County’s success. Global Trade magazine noted in its August/September (2012) issue that the Riverside metropolitan statistical area has been “very aggressive in its pursuit of international trade,” ranking the county within the Top 50 areas for global trade in the U.S.

The region enjoys healthy trade relationships with Canada, Mexico and Japan, among other countries, the magazine noted. The region is especially strong in the export of manufactured commodities, computer and electronic products and transportation equipment, Global Trade found.

The magazine attributed some of that success to the fact that 20 area cities are located in foreign trade zones, which provide for “duty-free treatment to goods processed for foreign trade.” For example, shoe maker Skechers will save more than $3 million per year through the FTZ program, the magazine said.

To read the full article as published, click here.  For more information on foreign trade and exporting resources, including the Riverside County Office of Foreign Trade, click here.