The freighter Manistee heads down the Maumee River to Lake Erie after unloading salt at the Port of Toledo.
THE BLADE/ANDY MORRISON
Ohio and Michigan were among 16 states that set records for export sales in 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Michigan sent $58.5 billion worth of merchandise to other countries last year, and Ohio exported $50.5 billion.
As a whole, U.S. exports rose 2 percent to $2.3 trillion in 2013, the fourth consecutive yearly record.
“These export numbers show that for more and more American companies, selling internationally is critical to growing their businesses and strengthening our economy,” said Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “We know for a fact, that for every $1 billion in exports nearly 5,000 jobs are supported across our nation, and with more than 95 percent of the world’s potential consumers residing outside our borders, exports will continue to be an important driver of the local and national economy.”
The Ohio figure was up 3.9 percent from 2012.
“This data shows that more and more Ohio companies are growing their businesses and strengthening our economy by selling their top-quality goods to consumers around the globe,” Ms. Pritzker said.
Among Ohio’s top exports were transportation equipment, machinery, chemicals, computer and electronic products, and fabricated metal products.
“Ohio exporters continue to ramp up their sales by selling to markets around the world with quality, made-in-the-USA products,” said Susan Whitney, acting director of the U.S. Commercial Service in Toledo. “By selling internationally, many of these exporters are better able to weather changes in the economy while building their global competitiveness.”
More than a quarter of all manufacturing jobs in Ohio are dependent upon exports, according to the International Trade Administration.
According to the ITA, Toledo ranked sixth among Ohio cities in merchandise exports in 2012, the most recent year for which data are available.
Toledo’s $2.7 billion in exports trailed Cincinnati, at $20 billion; Cleveland, at $11.1 billion; Columbus, $5.5 billion; Akron, $3.8 billion, and Dayton, $2.8 billion.
Michigan exports rose 3 percent last year.
Transportation equipment makes up almost half of Michigan’s exports.
The Detroit metro area is responsible for the vast majority of the state’s exports.
Canada was the biggest export market for Ohio and Michigan last year, with 39.5 percent of Ohio exports and 44.4 percent of Michigan’s exports going north. Mexico and China ranked second and third for both states.
— Chip Towns