Both Ohio and the U.S. saw a recording breaking year for exports in 2013. As ideastream’s Brian Bull reports, indicators suggest an upward trend for exports in the year ahead as well.
Worldwide distribution of Ohio goods and services increased 4 percent last year, at a value above $50 billion.
Susan Whitney, Director of the U.S. Commercial Service in Cleveland, says one thing that’s helped is an increase in foreign trade agreements.
“We’ve had three new agreements that went into effect last year," says Whitney. "Korea, Columbia, and Panama. Both Ohio exports to Korea and Panama went up 20 percent from 2012. Mostly we’re sending out transportation, machinery, chemicals.
"We also had a 20 percent increase in our exports to China. And that was mostly transportation, agricultural products, and machinery.”
Whitney says a new container ship route between the Great Lakes and Northern Europe will help increase Ohio exports even more this year. She says since President Obama announced his National Exports Initiative in 2010, exports have been steadily rising.
“I think this year, nationally we’re at $2.3 trillion, and nearly up $700 Billion from 2009,” she says.
The exports initiative aims to double exports by 2015, or a goal of $3.14 trillion.
Whitney says her office is ready to help more Ohio companies connect with foreign customers.