For many Hudson Valley-based businesses, a U.S. economic slowdown will mean fewer domestic sales, hurting local companies and workers. However, through an effective export strategy, local firms and workers can shelter themselves from economic hardship.

Additionally, this will generate high-paying jobs, strengthen local companies and farms, and improve the region’s tax base — while sending export revenue to local restaurants, retail stores, etc. However, in order for Hudson Valley exporters to sell more goods and services abroad, Congress needs to forge new trade agreements that further open foreign markets.

U.S. exports account for almost one-third of real U.S. economic growth and a very large portion of New York’s economic development. Consequently, the income of local workers and farmers, and the growth prospects of New York-based businesses are pegged to international trade.

These are the key findings released on March 9th in a new Business Roundtable report, "International Trade Benefits New York," that I authored. Plus, the report reveals:

  • International trade is a primary generator of business and job growth in the New York City region.
  • From 1993 - 1998, New York City metro area’s merchandise exports to Canada and Mexico, our NAFTA partners, rose by 38%, while decreasing 6% to the rest of the world.
  • NAFTA has created a net increase in jobs in New York.
  • Less than 2% of non-farm workers are at risk from imports, which offer consumers greater choices at attractive prices. Imports allow families to purchase more goods with more disposable income available for education, healthcare, home mortgages, etc. And lower-cost imported components help local producers to be more competitive worldwide.

The New York City metro area ranked within the top 1% of largest U.S. metro areas. Stated by Governor George E. Pataki, "New York has created a business-friendly environment by cutting taxes, controlling spending and eliminating red tape. This strategy puts New York companies in a very strong position to compete globally, as well as positions New York State as an attractive location for international investment. Our aggressive economic agenda reinforces the Empire State as the center of global business marketplace.”

Numerous local businesses are succeeding internationally, but more needs to be done. For almost three decades, the U.S. service trade surplus has consistently reduced the trade deficit. In 1999 alone, it decreased the trade deficit by 25%. And since 1980, U.S. exports of services have grown 130% faster than exports of goods.

New York’s private service-producing industries accounted for 75% of total gross state product in 1998, a larger percentage than any other state. And in the New York City metro area, 90% of non-farm workers are employed in the service sector — a higher percentage than any other state area. To improve the local economy, Hudson Valley-based companies need greater access to both foreign goods and service markets. To achieve this, we need Congress to forge new trade agreements that further open foreign markets.

This article appeared in the Hudson Valley Business Journal, April 2001.
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John Manzella
About The Author John Manzella [Full Bio]
John Manzella, founder of the ManzellaReport.com, is a world-recognized speaker, author of several books, and a nationally syndicated columnist on global business, emerging risks and economic trends. His latest book is Global America: Understanding Global and Economic Trends and How To Ensure Competitiveness.




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