Three New Mexico Cities Among Top Five U.S. Metro Areas For Export Growth

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Three New Mexico Cities Among Top Five U.S. Metro Areas For Export Growth

  • Las Cruces and Farmington Top Two, Set Records; Santa Fe in Top Five

SANTA FE — Today, Gov.  Susana Martinez announced that Las Cruces, Farmington and Santa Fe rank among the top five metropolitan areas in the nation for export growth.

Las Cruces and Farmington – which rank No. 1 and No. 2 in the nation, respectively – also shattered records for export growth, with more of their businesses exporting more products than ever before. Santa Fe ranks No. 5. The report was released by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“I’ve always said that if we provide an environment that is friendly to job creators, we can level the playing field with neighboring states and become a leader in exports. Today’s news is yet another testament to our efforts to diversify the economy and grow the private-sector,” Martinez said. “For the first time ever, more New Mexico businesses are exporting more goods to more places than ever before. There’s still work to do, and we’re going to continue to do everything we can to position New Mexico as the leader in international commerce and trade.”

The data comes on the heels of the Department of Commerce’s announcement in April that New Mexico leads the nation in export-related job growth at 107 percent for 2014, well ahead of the next-closest state. It also comes just weeks after New Mexico made a big leap in CNBC’s “America’s Top States for Businesses” rankings, jumping from 37th to 24th in the country. The improvement is tied for the best in the nation.

“Governor Martinez and I have encouraged New Mexico businesses to expand sales outside of New Mexico’s borders through tax policy changes, trade missions with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the development of relationships with leaders in other countries,” said New Mexico Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary Jon Barela. “We also see record growth in exports from our efforts in developing New Mexico’s border industrial region and that is having a ripple effect all throughout the state.”

According to the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration’s 2014 Metropolitan Area Export Review, the Las Cruces area led the nation with an export growth of 210.9 percent in the last year, totaling $1.3 billion, an increase of $913 million. More than 68 percent of exports went to markets where the U.S. has trade agreements in place, with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) countries, the European Union, and Asia as leading destinations. Key goods included computer and electronic parts, electrical equipment, appliances, fabricated metal products, transportation equipment, and plastic and rubber products.

The Farmington area ranked second in the nation with an export growth of 140 percent in the last year, totaling $83 million, an increase of $49 million. This marks the Farmington area’s third consecutive year of increased exports. Key goods included machinery, transportation equipment, electrical equipment, appliance, and components, manufactured goods, and fabricated metal products. Leading destinations were NAFTA countries, the European Union, and Asia.

The Santa Fe area ranked fifth in the nation, with an export growth of 102.3 percent in the last year, totaling $38 million. More than 23 percent of these exports went to markets where the U.S. has trade agreements, with NAFTA, Asia, and the European Union as leading destinations. Key goods included transportation equipment, computer and electronic products, machinery, chemicals, and electrical equipment, appliances, and components.

“More and more U.S. businesses are realizing that selling their world-class goods to the 96 percent of potential customers who live outside the United States is critical to their success,” said Stefan M. Selig, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade. “The Department of Commerce is committed to assisting companies throughout the New Mexico metropolitan area compete globally by helping them begin or expand their exporting operations. These efforts are important to strengthening both the local and national economy, and creating well-paying jobs here at home.”

Last year, New Mexico also set yet another all-time high for total exports, at nearly $4 billion, doubling exports to Mexico in one year, and nearly quadrupling them since Martinez took office.

“The growth in exports show that selling internationally has become a much more viable option for small businesses and entrepreneurs,” said Robert Queen, director of the New Mexico U.S. Export Assistance Center, who works with New Mexico exporters. “In many cases, the Internet, ease of transportation, and array of available export services has reduced the distance between exporter and importer to a click on a desktop.”