Why Export?

Exports Create Jobs

During the Great Recession, exporters’ revenues actually grew by 37%. Exports are responsible for nearly half of U.S. GDP growth from 2010 to 2011.

Amy Liu, The Brookings Institution

Ten Reasons to Export

  1. 95% of global consumers are outside of the U.S.
    If a U.S. business is only selling domestically, it is not reaching the majority of potential customers.
  2. Free trade agreements (FTA) with 20 countries
    Free Trade Agreements make it easier and cheaper for you to export your product or service by reducing barriers to U.S. interests abroad, and creating a more stable and transparent investment environment.
  3. U.S. products have a competitive advantage
    The U.S. is known for its high-quality goods and services.
  4. Develop economies of scale
    Exporting allows businesses with excess production capacity to produce more goods and spread costs across multiple markets, thus achieving economies of scale.
  5. Spur innovation
    Exposure to new technologies, customer requirements, cultural environments, and more competition can all help boost creativity and innovation.
  6. Mitigate risk
    Exporting helps companies diversify their revenue streams and reduce dependence on the domestic market. As a result, companies that export have an easier time riding out fluctuations in the U.S. economy.
  7. Derive benefits from seasonality
    Businesses that sell seasonal products, particularly farmers and agribusinesses, can use exporting to turn idle inventory into sales and generate year-long revenue helping level out seasonal fluctuations in product demand.
  8. Extend product life cycle and expand sales
    A product may become obsolete in one market, but still have relevance in another. By exporting that product overseas, companies can extend the life cycle of a product and maintain a steady revenue stream even when they reach saturation in domestic markets.
  9. Increase productivity
    Exporting can expose your business to new ideas and business processes and provide opportunities to improve your knowledge and increase your competitiveness. Together, these advantages can increase the productivity of your business.
  10. Enjoy faster growth
    Exporting can be profitable for businesses of all sizes. On average, because exporting companies have a broad, diverse customer base, their sales grow faster, more jobs are created, and employees earn more than in non-exporting firms.

Exports Benefit the USA

The United States is the world’s largest economy and the largest exporter and importer of goods and services. Trade is critical to America’s prosperity – fueling economic growth, supporting good jobs at home, raising living standards and helping Americans provide for their families with affordable goods and services.

The U.S. is the world’s largest trading nation, with exports of goods and services of nearly $2.2 trillion in 2012.

  • U.S. goods and services exports supported an estimated 9.8 million jobs in 2012.
  • Every billion dollars of goods and services exports supported more than an estimated 4,900 jobs in 2012.
  • U.S. manufacturing exports supported an estimated 2.4 million manufacturing jobs in 2009 (latest data available), 20 percent of all jobs in the manufacturing sector.
  • U.S. agricultural exports supported an estimated 923 thousand jobs on and off the farm in 2011 (latest data available).
  • Every billion dollars of U.S. agricultural exports in 2011 required 6,800 American jobs throughout the economy
  • U.S. jobs supported by goods exports pay 13-18 percent more than the US national average
  • Exports at 13.9 percent of U.S. GDP in 2012 – its highest share ever.

Trade expansion benefits families and businesses by:

  • Supporting more productive, higher paying jobs in our export sectors
  • Expanding the variety of products for purchase by consumers and business
  • Encouraging investment and more rapid economic growth

Trade keeps our economy open, dynamic, and competitive, and helps ensure that America continues to be the best place in the world to do business.

Exports Benefit California

  • Exports Support Jobs for California’s Workers Export-supported jobs linked to manufacturing account for an estimated 5.1 percent of California’s total private-sector employment. over one-fifth (22.4 percent) of all manufacturing workers in California depend on exports for their jobs (2009 data latest available). 
  • Exports Sustain Thousands of California Businesses A total of 61,894 companies exported from California locations in 2010. Of those, 59,543 (96 percent) were small and medium-sized enterprises with fewer than 500 employees. Small and medium-sized firms generated over two-fifths (46 percent) of California’s total exports of merchandise in 2010. 
  • Foreign Investment Creates Jobs in California In 2010, foreign-controlled companies employed 567,000 California workers. Major sources of foreign investment in California in 2010 included Japan, United Kingdom, France, and Germany. Foreign investment in California was responsible for 4.7 percent of the state’s total private-industry employment in 2010.
  • California Depends on World Markets California’s export shipments of merchandise in 2012 totaled $161.7 billion. The state’s largest market was Mexico. California posted merchandise exports of $26.3 billion to Mexico in 2012, 16.3 percent of the state’s total merchandise exports. Mexico was followed by Canada ($17.3 billion), China ($14.0 billion), Japan ($13.1 billion), and Korea ($8.2 billion). The state’s largest merchandise export category is Computer & Electronic Products, which accounted for $44.6 billion of California’s total merchandise exports in 2012. Other top merchandise exports are Transportation Equipment ($16.1 billion), Machinery, Except Electrical ($14.9 billion), Miscellaneous Manufactured Commodities ($13.9 billion), and Chemicals ($12.8 billion).
  • California’s Metropolitan Exports In 2011, the following metropolitan areas in California recorded merchandise exports: Los Angeles-Long BeachSanta Ana ($72.7 billion), San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara ($26.7 billion), San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont ($23.6 billion), San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos ($17.4 billion), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario ($7.1 billion), Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville ($4.7 billion), Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura ($2.9 billion), BakersfieldDelano ($2.8 billion), El Centro ($2.8 billion), Fresno ($2.3 billion), Modesto ($1.3 billion). *Data updated February 2013, by the Office of Trade and Industry Information, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

Export Benefits by Congressional District

International trade supports millions of American jobs. One in three manufacturing jobs depends on exports, and one in three acres on American farms is planted for hungry consumers overseas. But what is the impact of trade in your state and community? The U.S. Chamber of Commerce shows how exports drive economic growth and support jobs right where you live with their Trade Supports Jobs website. Search by state, Congressional district, or enter your zip code.

International Trade Career Options

An Introduction to Exporting and Importing

This presentation will provide new-to-export clients with information on getting started in international trade. Export and import basics will be provided as we walk through the four international trade development stages and are introduced to trade assistance resources on the federal, state and local level.

For mandatory export/import documentation for shipping products, we recommend you work with your freight forwarder/customs broker. For agreements/documents that are not required by law, but recommended for legal protection/peace of mind, we offer a few templates.These sample documents can be customized for your personal use. Please make sure to only include the information pertinent to your business needs and make certain all details are specific to your negotiated partner agreement(s).

Service Area Outcomes (SAO):

  • Learn about international trade resources available locally
  • Learn about export/import programs and services available to California small businesses
  • Understand the four development stages of international trade with tools to assist in your international growth plan

Export Readiness Assessment

This export questionnaire by the U.S. Commercial Service highlights characteristics common to successful exporters. You will receive a score once you complete the questionnaire, which will help you to assess your export readiness, as well as an identification of areas your business needs to strengthen to improve its export activities.

Jobs Created by Imports

Tropical Transport: Importing Fresh Fruit Through the Port showcases the extensive import process of bringing bananas from the growers in Latin America to your table at home. Learn about a variety of jobs in logistics created by international trade as you hear from industry professionals and their role at the Port of Hueneme.