Texas Insight

Global Trade

Crossroads of the World

Texas is a hub for world trade, linking North and South, East and West. It’s an ideal location for international commerce.

  • Texas has led the U.S. in exports for six years. According to the U.S. International Trade Administration (ITA), Texas exported $168.2 billion worth of goods in 2007; California was a distant second among states, with $134.2 billion in exports.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas reports that nearly 15 percent of Texas’ economic output is related to exports. That’s nearly twice as big a share as for the U.S. as a whole.
  • According to the Business Roundtable, an association of chief executives of leading U.S. companies, about 2.2 million Texas jobs were linked to international trade in 2004, a total second only to California’s.
  • In 2007, chemicals were Texas’ most important exports, at $35.0 billion or about 21 percent of the total. Computers and electronics were a close second, at $33.7 billion or 20 percent of the total.
  • Texas’ closest international neighbor is its largest trading partner by far. According to ITA, Mexico accounted for about 33 percent of our exports ($56.0 billion) in 2007—more than the total exports of all states except California, New York and Washington in that year.
  • Texas exporters also have increasingly close ties with the powerhouse economies of East Asia. Our ten biggest export destinations include China, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Japan.
  • Trade’s benefits are not restricted to large companies. According to the U.S. International Trade Administration, 92 percent of 21,983 Texas companies that exported goods in 2006 were small or medium-sized businesses (those with fewer than 500 employees). These companies accounted for 27 percent of the state’s exports in that year.

What Texas exports...

In 2007, chemicals were Texas’ biggest exports, closely followed by computers and electronics.

Commodity 2007 Export Totals (in $ millions)
Chemicals

$34,984.8

Computers & electronic products

33,691.5

Machinery (except electrical)

24,788.3

Transportation equipment

16,273.0

Petroleum and coal products

14,728.4

Electrical equipment, appliances & components

6,709.8

Primary metal manufactures

5,831.2

Fabricated metal products

5,445.7

Agricultural products

4,608.1

Food and kindred products

3,704.2

Other

17,399.4

Total Texas Exports

$168,164.4

Source: WISERTrade.

...and where we send it

Mexico is our largest export destination, but Asian economies are playing an increasingly important role.

Country 2007 Export Totals (in $ millions)
Mexico

$56,009.3

Canada

16,805.8

China

8,272.9

South Korea

5,562.4

Netherlands

5,293.1

Taiwan

5,108.2

Singapore

4,526.8

Brazil

3,903.3

Japan

3,443.3

United Kingdom

3,273.9

Other

55,965.4

Total Texas Exports

$168,164.4

Source: U.S. International Trade Administration.