Metropolitan Export Initiative
Growing Exports from the Bottom Up
The 100 largest metro areas in our country make up just 12 percent of land area – but they make up 65 percent of our population and 75 percent of our nation’s GDP. When it comes to export growth, metro areas are leading the way.
Metropolitan area exports increased nearly 40 percent since 2009 to total $1.31 trillion in 2011. One hundred and fifty U.S. metropolitan areas exported more than $1 billion in merchandise in 2011.
To implement the NEI at the local level and recognize metropolitan centers as the engines driving national export growth, the Department of Commerce has collaborated with the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program on its effort to help regional civic, business, and political leaders create and implement customized metropolitan export plans. These localized export plans apply market intelligence to develop better, targeted, and integrated export-related services and strategies to help regions better connect their firms to global customers, as outlined by their individualized export goals. These plans have also outlined the kinds of state and Federal Government reforms needed to support effective implementation.
Four pilot plans under the Metropolitan Export Initiative have been completed and made available online: Los Angeles, CA; Portland, OR; Minneapolis, MN; and Syracuse, NY. As a next step, Brookings has developed a metropolitan export strategy template that builds on these pilot MEPs and is working to help facilitate the adoption of export plans in additional markets. Meanwhile, federal agency partners will continue to work with Brookings and metropolitan area leaders to further localize the NEI.
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