Exports seen as key to boosting economy, creating jobs in Texas

Michael Cox, director of SMU's Center for Global Markets and Freedom, talks about the importance of exports in revitalizing the economy.

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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