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Going Global

Section 2

The Hard Numbers

New York's stake in world trade is clearly documented. The best available statistics show that exports account for a large, and growing, share of economic activity in New York.

The U.S. Census Bureau publishes state export statistics drawn from Shipper Export Declaration forms (SEDs), which provide the location of origin of any good that is shipped beyond national boundaries. Two different sets of statistics are available. The Exporter Location series, which was first published in 1993, provides data based on where the exporter of record is located. The Origin of Movement series, which originated as an analytical tool for the transportation industry, is based on the state from which the merchandise starts its journey to the port of export.

A note about methodology

The Census Bureau cautions that both data series are incomplete and, at times, potentially misleading. For example, the value of a computer part produced in New York, shipped to another state to become part of a laptop, and then transported to Canada, may be attributed to the state where the laptop was assembled. In addition, many sales may be attributed to the state in which the export dealer is located, such as precious metals dealers in New York.

According to the Census Bureau, roughly three-fourths of U.S. manufactured exports are generated by manufacturers who do their own exporting. For these shipments the production, sales and transportation origins are generally the same. Therefore, the comparative statistics in this report are drawn primarily from the more-inclusive Exporter Location series, incorporating statistical adjustments to the "state unknown" export data made by the Massachusetts Institute for Social and Economic Research (MISER) through a joint agreement for with Census Bureau.

Table 1: U.S. Exports (Top 10 States)
Millions of Dollars
1994 - 1997
1994 1997
Total U.S. 512,416 687,598 175,182 34.2%
California 83,084 111,604 28,520 34.3%
Texas 44,103 62,242 18,138 41.1%
NEW YORK 41,669 53,572 11,903 28.6%
Michigan 38,887 45,024 6,137 15.8%
Illinois 26,396 37,010 10,613 40.2%
Washington 25,951 34,075 8,124 31.3%
Ohio 21,468 27,885 6,418 29.9%
Florida 18,429 25,299 6,870 37.3%
New Jersey 18,226 22,427 4,200 23.0%
pennsylvania 15,879 21,025 5,146 32.4%
New York's share of U.S. exports 8.1% 7.79% N.A. -4.19%
Source: MISER adjustments to Exporter Location Series data from U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Division, 3/23/98

Exports from New York

As shown in Table 1 above, export sales from New York State were estimated at $53.7 billion in 1997, behind only California and Texas.

Merchandise exports have made up a rising share of New York's gross state product over the past four years. However, New York's share of the nation's total merchandise export sales has dropped, from 8.1 percent in 1994 to 7.8 percent in 1997.

Table 2 presents the most recent export statistics and national rankings for 10 metropolitan areas, which are among the 253 areas for which the federal government keeps separate statistics.

The New York City area, including Westchester, Rockland and putnam counties, accounted for 56 percent of all export sales from New York State in 1996. Nassau and Suffolk counties accounted for another 7 percent of the state total.

The Rochester area was the largest source of exports upstate, followed by Buffalo-Niagara Falls, Syracuse and Albany-Schenectady-Troy.

Table 2: Export Sales of New York State's Metropolitan Areas
1993-96 (ranked by 1996 totals)
Millions of Dollars 1993 - 1996
1993 1994 1995 1996 $ Incr. % Incr.
New York City metro* 28,193 23,544 27,131 27,971 -222 -1%
Rochester 3,092 3,144 3,861 4,308 1,216 39%
Nassau-Suffolk 2,803 2,866 3,559 3,680 877 31%
Buffalo-Niagara Falls 1,135 1,570 2,296 2,262 1,127 99%
Syracuse 1,374 1,601 1,894 1,665 291 21%
Albany-Schenectady-Troy 676 831 1,061 1,101 425 63%
Binghamton 316 475 558 443 127 40%
Utica-Rome 188 269 238 278 90 48%
Jamestown 157 209 257 241 84 54%
Elmira 70 117 139 197 127 180%
Newburgh-pA.** 382 153 149 153 -229 -60%
U.S. TOTAL 464,858 512,416 583,031 622,827 157,969 34%
* Includes Westchester, Rockland and putnam counties ** Includes neighboring pennsylvania county
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Exporter Location Series

Regional variations

How well have New York's metropolitan areas been doing, in competing for exports with other regions of the country? The answer varies widely depending on the timeframe measured.

For example, Buffalo-Niagara Falls experienced a surge of exports in 1993-94, followed by a drop in 1995-96. The much smaller Elmira area, on the other hand, ranked among the nation's fastest growing export areas in 1995-96.

In 1996, the most recent period for which metro area statistics are available, only three of the 10 New York State areas—Elmira, Utica-Rome and Rochester—exceeded the 6.8 percent annual rate of export growth for all states. Four areas of the state—Buffalo-Niagara Falls, Jamestown, Syracuse and Binghamton—all experienced a decline in export sales during that period.

Exports by category

Table 3 on the following page presents a breakdown of New York State's exports by industrial and trade category. As shown, manufactured goods accounted for $46.8 billion in exports, or about 87 percent of the total.

Two-thirds of New York's merchandise exports fall into one of just seven strategically vital categories: industrial machinery and computer equipment, primary metal industries, transportation equipment, instruments and related products, electronic and electric equipment, miscellaneous manufacturing, and chemicals.

New York's trade partners

Canada has long been New York's largest export market, accounting for 22 percent of the total as of 1997, as shown in Table 4 on page 11. Japan was the second largest destination of New York export sales last year, taking in just over 10 percent, followed by the United Kingdom and Switzerland, respectively. Mexico moved up to fifth place, displacing Hong Kong. Israel moved ahead of South Korea into 8th place in 1997.

The United Kingdom has been among the state's top export markets since colonial times. Large sales of precious metals, artwork and pharmaceutical products help account for the high rankings of tiny Switzerland and Hong Kong, according to state and federal analysts.

perhaps surprisingly, given New York's Atlantic orientation, New York exports almost as much to Asia ($13.7 billion) as to Europe ($14.5 billion).

Table 3: New York Exports by Industrial Category
Ranked by 1997 Totals
Millions of Dollars 1994 - 1997
1994 1997 $ Diff. % Diff.
Industrial Machinery & Computer Equipment 5,702 7,790 2,088 36.6%
primary Metals 4,713 6,208 1,495 31.7%
Transportation Equipment 3,312 5,125 1,813 54.7%
Instruments and Related 3,577 4,881 1,304 36.5%
Electronic and Electric Equipment 3,774 4,705 931 24.7%
Misc. Manufacturing Industries 3,079 3,831 752 24.4%
Chemicals and Allied products 3,562 3,689 127 3.6%
Food and Kindred products 2,104 2,852 748 35.5%
paper and Allied products 1,409 1,747 338 24.0%
Rubber and Misc. plastics products 623 907 284 45.6%
Fabricated Metal products 613 879 266 43.4%
Textile Mill products 758 837 80 10.5%
printing and publishing 815 773 -43 -5.2%
Apparel and Other Textile products 670 731 60 9.0%
Stone, Clay and Glass products 401 561 160 39.9%
Lumber and Wood products 382 458 76 19.9%
petroleum and Coal products 310 446 135 43.6%
Leather and Leather products 159 180 21 13.1%
Furniture and Fixtures 108 119 12 11.0%
Tobacco Manufacturers 254 77 -176 -69.5%
Subtotal: 36,323 46,793 10,471 28.8%
Agricultural production - crops 1,702 2,364 662 38.9%
Used or Second-hand merchandise 1,416 1,591 175 12.4%
Scrap and Waste 1,070 978 -92 -8.6%
Oil and Gas Extraction 37 377 340 922.4%
Bituminous Coal & Lignite Mining 221 289 68 31.0%
Canadian, Non-Canadian Goods Returned to 183 287 104 56.7%
Special Classification provisions 352 285 -67 -18.9%
Agricultural production - livestock 165 203 38 23.0%
Nonmetallic Minerals, except Fuels 93 79 -15 -15.9%
Fishing, Hunting, and Trapping 65 58 -8 -11.8%
Metal Mining 35 56 21 58.9%
Forestry 36 15 -21 -57.8%
Charity, Military, Spec. Shipments 0 196 196 -
Subtotal: Other goods 5,376 6,779 1,403 26.1%
TOTALS 41,699 53,572 11,873 28.5%
Source: MISER adjustments to Exporter Location Series data from U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Division, 3/23/98

 

Table 4: New York Exports by Country
Top Ten
Millions of Dollars
1994 1997 % Of Total NYS
Exports (1997)
1994 - 1997
$ Diff.
Canada 8,097 11,733 21.9% 3,636 44.9%
Japan 4,830 5,575 10.4% 745 15.4%
Switzerland 2,179 4,022 7.5% 1,843 84.5%
United Kingdom 3,221 3,332 6.2% 111 3.4%
Mexico 1,463 2,039 3.8% 576 39.4%
Hong Kong 1,761 1,856 3.5% 95 5.4%
Germany 1,276 1,784 3.3% 508 39.8%
Israel 1,148 1,680 3.1% 532 46.3%
Korea, Republic of 1,431 1,546 2.9% 115 8.0%
France 869 1,342 2.5% 473 54.5%
Total New York Exports 41,699 53,572 100.0% 11,873 28.5%
Source: MISER adjustments to Exporter Location Series data from U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Division, 2/18/98.

The gains from NAFTA

The statistics reflect the gains for New York under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which began lowering tariffs and other barriers between the U.S. and Canada and Mexico in 1994.

Since NAFTA took effect, New York State exports to Canada have risen by 45 percent, or $3.6 billion, and exports to Mexico have risen 37 percent, or $576 million. The anecdotal experience of New York manufacturers also supports the view that NAFTA has been a net gainer for the New York economy. Eastman Kodak Co. alone, for example, reported in 1997 that its exports to Mexico had increased 114 percent over the previous four years.

While precise NAFTA-related employment figures for New York are not available, the Clinton Administration has estimated that NAFTA led to a net increase of 300,000 jobs nationally.

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