White House Highlights Exports in Massachusetts

Boston, Feb. 26, 2015, — America had a breakthrough year in 2014, and the President is using middle class economics – the simple idea that anybody who works hard and plays by the rules should be able to get ahead – to ensure more Americans can contribute to and benefit from our success. Exports are a crucial part of the Administration’s strategy to keep our economy growing and the President is focused on taking action to help workers from businesses of all sizes from all parts of the country – including rural America – benefit from our economic resurgence.
More and more global high-tech companies like Wuxi AppTec are opening offices in MA, and help drive exports (photo by Menglei Han).

Today, the Administration highlighted that merchandise exports from Massachusetts hit $27.4 billion in 2014, an increase of $541 million over 2013. Massachusetts’s exports in 2014 helped the U.S. achieve a record high for goods and services exports: $2.35 trillion.

Exports from Massachusetts supported an estimated 119,000 U.S. jobs in 2013, contributing to the 11.3 million jobs nationwide that were supported by both goods and services exports that year. On average, jobs in these export-related industries pay up to 18 percent more than non-export related industries.

The President also announced a set of new executive actions to help grow manufacturing in rural areas and to provide new markets to small businesses across our nation’s heartland. As part of his “Made in Rural America” initiative launched in February 2014, the Administration is bringing together federal resources to help rural businesses and communities take advantage of new investment opportunities and access additional markets at home and abroad.

Today’s data further demonstrates the important role that trade and exports have played in America’s economic recovery. In order to build on that momentum, the President is urging Congress to act on new trade agreements that increase accountability and high standards, uphold our values and open new markets to American goods and services. The countries involved in the trade agreements currently under negotiation – the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – received 62 percent of U.S. goods exports in 2014, supporting an estimated 4.2 million U.S. jobs in 2013. TPA will allow these agreements to become a reality, spurring economic growth in the United States and our trading partners.

More than 95 percent of the world’s potential consumers, representing approximately 80 percent of the world’s purchasing power, live outside our borders, which means that critical opportunities for economic growth at home are created by selling abroad.

Executive Actions to Promote Rural Exports:

As part of the Obama Administration’s long-term, sustained effort to build jobs and economic security in rural America, the White House Rural Council has hosted a series of workshops across the country to connect rural leaders and businesses with resources to expand exports and to identify barriers to exporting for rural businesses.  Based on feedback gained at those workshops, the White House Rural Council has developed a number of new executive actions to further encourage increased goods and services from rural America including:

  • A series of reverse trade missions and outreach events for rural businesses to meet foreign buyers, partners, and trade experts and facilitate access to additional foreign markets.
  • An effort to double the number of rural businesses attending international trade shows and missions with the help and sponsorship of partners, including the Appalachian Regional Commission and Delta Regional Authority.
  • A new National Rural Export Innovation Team to help more rural businesses access export-related assistance, information and events.
  • A new partnership with community banks to educate local lenders on the needs of rural exporters and the federal export resources available to them and their customers.
  • A new partnership with the United States Postal Service to host “Grow Your Business” Day workshops at 75  U.S. Postal Service locations throughout rural America to provide rural businesses an opportunity to learn about exporting and e-commerce, learn how to file customs forms online, and calculate and plan for export shipping costs.
  • An effort to develop better financial indexing and metrics for rural infrastructure projects.  This will help underpin additional investments in roads, bridges, inland ports, water supply systems, information technology, and community facilities that are vital to manufacturing and exports.
  • A new effort to promote an entrepreneurial ecosystem mentorship program for rural communities.
  • Launching an i6 Rural Challenge, which will focus on providing funding to rural communities to build capacity for commercializing technology by collaborating across agencies and providing funding to Challenge winners.

Massachusetts Exports


According to data released by the Department of Commerce, Massachusetts’s goods exports in 2014 were led by a number of sectors, including computer and electronic products ($8.2 billion); chemicals ($3.5 billion); and miscellaneous manufactured commodities ($3.1 billion).

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) would create new market opportunities for Massachusetts companies, supporting export-related jobs.

Massachusetts exported $8.8 billion annually in goods to all TPP markets (2012-2014 average), which accounted for 33 percent of the state’s goods exports. Massachusetts’s exports could benefit from new market access as a result of Brunei, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Vietnam eliminating their tariffs as part of TPP.

The EU’s tariff elimination as part of TTIP would provide new market access that could benefit Massachusetts’s exports. TTIP will be an ambitious, comprehensive, and high-standard trade and investment agreement that offers significant benefits for U.S. companies and workers through eliminating existing trade barriers and better enabling U.S. companies and workers to compete. TTIP will provide new opportunities for U.S. industry, as approximately one-fifth of all U.S. goods and services exports go to the European Union (EU). In 2013, U.S. goods and services exports to the EU supported an estimated 2.5 million U.S. jobs.

Massachusetts exported $8.6 billion annually in goods to the EU (2012-2014 average).

Massachusetts’s top industrial goods exports to the EU include metals and ores (tariffs range up to 10 percent); information and communication technologies (tariffs currently go as high as 14 percent); and high-tech instruments (tariffs range up to 6.7 percent).

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