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States Need an Export Strategy to Compete in 21st Century, according to a New Brookings Report

February 23, 2011

U.S. states must develop an export strategy as a component of the state's “competitiveness agenda,” according to a new report from the Brookings Institute. In “Boosting Exports, Delivering Jobs and Economic Growth,” the authors point towards the rapid growth of American exports in comparison to the overall economy's economic growth to highlight the need for effective and efficient state export strategies. Between the third quarter of 2009 and the third quarter of 2011, U.S. exports grew by 12.7 percent almost four times the overall economic growth (3.2 percent). States, the authors contend, fail to export efficiently and effectively for several reasons including lack of data to understand strengths and weaknesses; efforts are reactive, fragmented and inconsistently funded; or states ignore exporting efforts by the federal government and other institutions leading to duplication of and failure to leverage those programs. The report provides three policy prescriptions to remedy those issues. They include:

  • “Get smart about assessing exports and the performance of their export promotion activities;”
  • “Create an export strategy as part of the state's economic agenda”; and,
  • “Leverage the resources of other organizations involved in export promotion.”

Read the Report...