WASHINGTON — The metropolitan areas of Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati were among the 50 largest export markets last year in the United States, according to a report released yesterday by the Obama administration.
In a conference call with reporters, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said that Columbus-area companies have increased their exports by 99 percent since 2009, to $5.7 billion last year.
The report said that 259,000 jobs in Ohio were dependent upon exports, prompting Pritzker to urge Congress to re-authorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank, a move opposed by many conservative Republicans.
“We have made exports a priority in our city for the last several years,” said Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman, who also was on the call. “It is an area of needed growth in our city. And, in fact, we have grown.”
According to the report, the 10 counties of the Columbus metropolitan area ranked 48th in the country with exports of $1.1 billion of chemical products, $814 million in transportation equipment and $383 million in crop production.
The report did not include the value of exports from Franklin County, but it reported that Licking County exported $807 million worth of goods, while Union County — home to the Honda plant — exported $456 million in products. Canada, Mexico and China were the three largest destinations.
Greater Cincinnati, which includes northern Kentucky, was the 15th-largest export market in the country as it shipped abroad $21 billion worth of goods. Nearly one-half of those exports were transportation equipment; the largest export destinations were Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom.
The report ranked Hamilton County companies as exporting nearly $10 billion worth of goods, with Butler County exporting $1.2 billion worth of products and Warren County shipping $895 million worth of goods.
Greater Cleveland ranked 29th in the United States with $11.1 billion worth of exports. Chemicals, machinery and fabricated metal were among the largest items, and greater Cleveland’s top three export markets were Canada, Mexico and China.