Merchandise exports from Louisiana climbed 2.8 percent to a record $65.1 billion in 2014, and new trade agreements could boost those totals in the coming years, the U.S. Department of Commerce said Wednesday.
The 2014 gain marked the sixth consecutive year of export growth for the state, up from $63.3 billion in 2013, the World Trade Center in New Orleans said.
Louisiana’s principal export markets for 2014 were China, $8.7 billion, up 8.9 percent; Mexico, $7.3 billion, up 14.5 percent; and Canada, $3.3 billion, up 5.6 percent, followed by the Netherlands, Japan, Colombia, France, Brazil, Egypt and Panama.
Nationally, exports for all 50 states and Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia set a another annual record in 2014, totaling $1.62 trillion, a 2.8 percent increase over 2013.
Louisiana ranked sixth among U.S. states, the same ranking it held in 2013, the World Trade Center said.
In general, the top 10 exporting states remained the same, with the exception of Washington moving to the top three and pushing New York to No. 4. Of the top 10 states, New York, Florida and Michigan were the only states to show a decrease in exports.
The value of Louisiana’s petroleum and coal exports fell by less than 1 percent in 2014, totaling $25.7 billion, but remained Louisiana’s top export.
Agricultural products were next at $17.7 billion, with chemicals third at $8.6 billion.
Exports from Louisiana supported an estimated 283,000 U.S. jobs in 2013, the Commerce Department said. Nationally, jobs in these export-related industries paid up to 18 percent more than non-export-related industries.
The Commerce Department is using the report to push for legislation that would allow the Obama administration to negotiate new trade agreements: the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. The regional trade agreements, now being negotiated, cover 62 percent of the 2014 U.S. goods exports and supported an estimated 4.2 million U.S. jobs in 2013.