California’s Economy Benefits from International Trade and Investment | Business Roundtable


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Washington – International trade supports an estimated 4.4 million jobs in California and generated $158.4 billion in goods exports in 2012. Business Roundtable highlights these and other important facts about the benefits of trade to California’s economy in a new state-by-state analysis.

“Trade is a powerful engine for economic growth, supporting American jobs and increasing U.S. exports to countries around the world,” said Business Roundtable President John Engler. “With 95 percent of the world’s population outside of the United States, and more than one in five American jobs supported by trade, U.S. international trade and investment agreements have a major role to play in maximizing economic growth in California and all 50 states.”

Drawing from new Business Roundtable research and U.S. government data, the facts and figures highlighted in the California state analysis provide in-depth details on the many economic benefits of trade and U.S. trade agreements, including:

  • California’s trade-related employment grew 19 percent, while total jobs decreased, from 2004 to 2011.
  • California’s goods exports have grown 70 percent faster than state GDP since 2002.
  • Ninety-six percent of California exporters are small- and medium-sized companies with fewer than 500 workers.
  • U.S. trade with free trade agreement (FTA) partner countries has led to export growth, and since 2002, California’s goods exports to FTA partners have increased by 80 percent. In 2012, $67.5 billion of California’s goods exports, or 43 percent, went to FTA partners.

To educate on the many benefits of trade to California and other states and the importance of passing Trade Promotion Authority legislation to help provide more benefits, the Roundtable and other business associations recently launched the Trade Benefits America Coalition. For more information, visit the Roundtable’s website at or the coalition’s website at

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