2013 was a record year for exports for Ohio and the nation.
Indicators suggest an upward trend in the year ahead. Brian Bull of member station WCPN in Cleveland reports.
Worldwide distribution of Ohio goods and services increased 4 percent last year, at a value above 50 billion dollars.
Susan Whitney is the Director of the U.S. Commercial Service in Cleveland.
She says one thing that’s helped is an increase in foreign trade agreements.
SWhitney01: “We’ve had three new agreements that went in effect last year. Korea, Columbia, and Panama. Both Ohio exports to Korea and Panama went up 20% from 2012. Mostly we’re sending out transportation, machinery, chemicals. We also had a 20% 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.
SWhitney02: “I think this year, nationally we’re at 2.3 trillion, and nearly up 700 Billion from 2009.”
The exports initiative aims to double exports by 2015, or a goal of 3.14 trillion dollars.
Whitney says her office is ready to help more Ohio companies connect with foreign customers.