By SHERYL JEAN
The Dallas Morning News
Exports produced in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and other major metropolitan areas should play a larger role in the nation's future economic growth because they create higher-paying jobs and can help reduce the U.S. trade deficit in a post-recession era, according to a report to be released today by the Brookings Institution.
Jonathan Rothwell, co-author of the report, hopes it helps local leaders identify and grow their top export industries as a way to create jobs and boost competitiveness during economic recovery.
Texas is in a strong position, with its two largest cities already ranking among the top five metro areas for exports.
D-FW exports totaled $44.5 billion and supported 303,514 jobs in 2008, ranking No. 5 nationally. The area's top export markets were Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Japan and Germany, which mirrors the top U.S. markets, according to the report. . .
Michael Cox , director of Southern Methodist University's Center for Global Markets and Freedom in Dallas, agreed with the Brookings report's general premise.
"It's a partial measure of the globalization that's happening, but a bigger measure and better insight can be had by looking at foreign sales of D-FW companies," said Cox, a former chief economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
"If you look at companies like Texas Instruments and Kimberly-Clark, what you'll find is that they've had huge increases in sales abroad," he said. "That's the future of business. Dallas has become a very globalized city in this sense."
The report encourages federal, state and local governments to promote innovation through public-private partnerships and industry clusters – groups of similar businesses in one region. Industries tend to cluster in metro areas.
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