Seattle's 22% export gain lauded by officials

By:  Puget Sound Business Journal - Ben Miller
Source: Puget Sound Business Journal

Officials were praising the Seattle area's 22.3 percent increase in exports from 2011 to 2012, calling the increase "great news for our trade economy."

U.S. Sen Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., said the increase "underscores why we must continue to invest in Washington’s trade economy. More Washington exports means more Washington jobs.”

According to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, in 2012, the Seattle metropolitan area was the fifth-largest export market in the U.S., with shipments totaling $50.3 billion, up from $41.1 billion in 2011.

Transportation equipment, mainly Boeing Co. airplanes, accounted for the bulk of the area's exports in 2012 at $36.1 billion, or nearly 72 percent of the total.

“Trade is a cornerstone of economic growth and job creation in the Seattle region and across our state. From apples to airplanes, Washington state products are in demand around the world," Cantwell said in a statement.

The Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas metropolitan area reported the highest total export value in the U.S. last year, shipping $110.3 billion in merchandise abroad.

Washington state is expanding its efforts to keep more Boeing (NYSE: BA) jobs and manufacturing in the state. On Thursday, Gov. Jay Inslee declared the expansion of Boeing’s Everett site a “Project of Statewide Significance,” a step intended to ease permitting and improve Everett's chances of winning the job of assembling the upcoming 777X.