by David Hendricks, San Antonio Express-News
Texas led the nation in exports last year, selling a record-breaking $279.5 billion worth of goods abroad, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said Monday in San Antonio.
That marked a 183 percent increase over the Lone Star State’s export sales in 2003. It also beat Texas’ previous export record of $264.7 billion in 2012.
Last year, companies in the San Antonio-New Braunfels metropolitan area exported $19.3 billion in merchandise.
“More than 1 million Texas jobs are supported by trade,” Froman said. “Our job is to open more markets to exporters. Ninety-five percent of the world’s consumers live outside the United States.” Texas’ largest trade partner was Mexico. The state’s manufacturers posted $100.9 billion in merchandise sales in Mexico in 2013, representing 36.1 percent of the state’s total merchandise exports.
Mexico was followed by Canada at $26.1 billion, Brazil at $10.9 billion, China at $10.8 billion and the Netherlands at $9.5 billion.
The state’s largest manufacturing export category was petroleum and coal products, which accounted for $60.6 billion of Texas’ total goods exports in 2013. Oil refiners have been helped by cheaper crude oil flowing in from the Eagle Ford Shale and the Permian Basin.
If Congress lifts an export ban on crude oil — as producers are pushing for — Texas’ export sales probably would jump significantly because of booming drilling activity in its shale regions.
Other top manufacturing exports were electronic products at $48.2 billion, chemicals at $47.9 billion, machinery at $30 billion and transportation equipment at $24.4 billion.
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