Value of Inland Southern California Exports Rising

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

(As reported by Jack Katzanek and published in the Press-Enterprise.)

The value of goods manufactured in Inland Southern California and shipped to other countries increased in 2012, placing the area on a list of cities that expanded those markets, Department of Commerce data shows.

Manufacturers in San Bernardino and Riverside counties sent about $8 billion worth of goods abroad in 2012, a report released Thursday, July 11 found. It represents an increase of $916 million, or 13 percent, from 2011. 

The goods companies shipped run from aircraft parts, machinery, electronic parts and chemicals to agricultural products. The biggest recipients of these exports are Mexico, Canada, Japan, China and the Netherlands, according to a statement from the Commercial Service Export Assistance Center in Ontario, which assists Inland companies in developing foreign markets.

All told, American companies exported $2.2 trillion in goods and services in 2012, supporting close to 10 million jobs. Fred Latuperissa, director of the Ontario office, said workers employed by exporters generally pay wages that are about 18 percent higher than companies whose products are only consumed by domestic customers.

The Inland area ranked 36th last year among 50 metropolitan areas in the value of exports. The top five were Houston, New York City, Los Angeles, Detroit and Seattle. The Houston area topped the list mostly because of petroleum and other energy-related products.

But the Inland area stood out a little higher when compared to other areas’ growth from 2011 to 2012. The 13 percent increase outpaced that of New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, Detroit and other established commercial hubs.

According to a 2011 study by economists at Cal State Fullerton, more than a third of the goods made in the Inland Empire and exported are sent to Canada and Mexico. About 11 percent is shipped to Rotterdam in the Netherlands, a major port, with much of those items transported to other European companies.

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For more information on import and exporting resources available to Riverside businesses, click here.