How Trade Helps Michigan

By July 15, 2008Trade

Commerce Secretary Gutierrez released new trade statistics yesterday that calculate exports according to metropolitan areas, using a speech at the Detroit Economic Club to drive home the point for Michigan: For the first half of 2007, the Detroit metro area was the fifth largest export market in the U.S. with sales totaling $24.3 billion.

Consider these statistics:

  • In 2007, Michigan’s merchandise exports to NAFTA were $13.0 billion above 1993—an increase of 72 percent.
  • Between 1993 and 2007, real per capita personal income in Michigan increased by 24 percent.
  • Export-supported jobs linked to manufacturing account for an estimated 6.4 percent of Michigan’s private-sector employment.
  • Nearly one-quarter of all manufacturing workers in Michigan depend on exports for their jobs.

There are three FTAs pending—with Colombia, Panama and South Korea—that would give American companies and workers greater access to 100 million consumers.

Last year, Michigan merchandise exports to Korea totaled $627 million. That was an increase of 72 percent since 2003. An FTA with Korea would level the playing field and provide U.S. automotive exporters a competitive advantage in gaining access to the Korean market. Congress should pass each of the pending FTAs.

A Gutierrez op-ed in the Detroit News made similar points, a news release is here, and the website is

Leave a Reply