Technology Exports See Double-Digit Decline in First Half of 2009

October 20, 2009

Drop Follows One Percent Gain in 2008 to Total $223 Billion

WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — After realizing modest gains in 2008, U.S. high-tech exports declined steeply in the first two quarters of 2009, according to a TechAmerica Foundation report released today that details national and state trends in the international trade of high-tech goods. The report, Trade in the Cyberstates 2009: A State-by-State Overview of High-Tech International Trade, covers all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico and includes for the first time a supplemental quarterly breakdown covering the first two quarters of the current year.

U.S. high-tech goods exports were up by $2.3 billion, or one percent in 2008, for a total of $223 billion. Yet TechAmerica Foundation’s supplemental quarterly breakdown reveals that high-tech exports had begun to decline in the 4th quarter, and continued in the first half of 2009. High-tech exports were down eight percent in Q4 2008 compared to Q4 2007. The drop steepened with a 22 percent decline in Q1 2009 and a 23 percent decline in Q2 2009 compared to their respective quarters in 2008. This tracks closely with the overall decline in U.S. merchandise exports in the first half of 2009.

High tech was the single largest merchandise export sector in the United States in 2008, representing 17 percent of all U.S. exports to the world. High-tech imports declined by 0.2 percent in 2008 for a total of $336 billion, resulting in a slightly improved high-tech trade deficit of $114 billion. The largest tech export subsectors were semiconductors ($59.0 billion), computers and peripheral equipment ($45.4 billion), and communications equipment ($33.2 billion).

“Trade is vital to every state’s economy and the U.S. high-tech industry as a whole,” said Christopher W. Hansen, President, TechAmerica Foundation. “In 2008 high-tech exports were still faring well and we even saw an improvement in the balance of trade for technology goods as imports declined. Yet as the global recession gained steam, U.S. tech exports suffered, declining dramatically in the first half of 2009.”

“I can’t stress enough the importance of maintaining an open system of global trade as we start on the road to recovery,” continued Hansen. “These high-tech exports support nearly 1.2 million American jobs, and if exports decline it is safe to say that jobs will be lost as well. We think it is important not only to resist the urge to put up new barriers, but to pass the Free Trade Agreements that have already been concluded with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea, and to revitalize multilateral negotiations in the Doha Round of the World Trade Organization.”

Thirty-six cyberstates saw tech export growth between 2007 and 2008. The largest gains measured by dollar value increase were in Oregon, Florida, Utah, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania. California continues to be the leading high-tech exporting state, with $49.3 billion in 2008, however this is down six percent from $52.3 billion in 2007. California is followed by Texas, Florida, New York, and Massachusetts, all of whom experienced high-tech export growth in 2008. The largest decrease in tech exports occurred in California, Arizona, and Colorado.

The largest overseas markets for U.S. high-tech exports in 2008 were the European Union ($46.7 billion), Canada ($28.9 billion), Mexico ($27.7 billion), China ($15.7 billion), Japan ($11.6 billion), and Singapore ($9.6 billion). Tech exports to South Korea fell by 15 percent from 2007 to 2008, dropping from the United State’s sixth largest export destination to the ninth.

The fastest growing large export markets (defined as having $1 billion or more in U.S. tech exports) for U.S. tech exports between 2007 and 2008 were Brazil (+25%), Colombia (+45%), Belgium (+22%), Costa Rica (+21%), and Venezuela (+21%). Argentina and Chile were also among the top ten fastest growing destinations for U.S. high-tech exports, demonstrating the increasing importance of South and Central America as trading partners.

On the other side of the trade picture, the United States imported the most high-tech products from China ($116.8 billion), Mexico ($51.1 billion), the European Union ($34.4 billion), Japan ($30.3 billion), and Malaysia ($22.5 billion).

High tech was the second largest import sector, just behind energy products. The largest high-tech import subsectors in 2008 were computers and peripheral equipment ($95.3 billion), communications equipment ($80.4 billion), and consumer electronics ($51.8 billion).

Trade in the Cyberstates 2009 provides a comprehensive review of international trade of high-tech goods at the national and state-by-state level. The report provides overview pages for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. This report is a partner publication to TechAmerica Foundation’s other two annual cyber publications, Cyberstates and Cybercities, which provide data on high-tech jobs, wages, payroll, and other factors at the state and metropolitan levels.

About TechAmerica Foundation

TechAmerica Foundation educates industry executives, policy makers and opinion leaders on the promise of technological innovation to advance prosperity, security and the general welfare. Launched in 1981, the foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan affiliate of TechAmerica, the leading voice and resource for the U.S. technology industry. It disseminates award-winning industry, policy and market research covering topics such as U.S. competitiveness in a global economy, innovation in government, and other areas of national interest. The foundation also organizes conferences and seminars to explore pertinent issues with government and industry representatives and to share the foundation’s findings.

    Anne Caliguiri
    TechAmerica Foundation

SOURCE TechAmerica Foundation

Source: newswire

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