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Congressman Gene Green

Representing the 29th District of Texas

Rep. Green Congratulates Houston on Becoming #1 Metropolitan Area for Exports in 2012

July 11, 2013
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) announced new data that show the Houston metropolitan area became the top metropolitan area for exports in 2012.  Houston had been in second place for metropolitan area with the greatest exports since 2006, narrowly trailing behind the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island metropolitan area.  

Merchandise exports from the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown metropolitan area totaled a record $110.3 billion, an increase of $5.8 billion from 2011 to 2012.  Key merchandise export categories included petroleum and coal products, chemicals, machinery, computer and electronic products, and oil and gas.  Mexico, Canada, Brazil, China, and the Netherlands were the leading destinations for Houston exports.

“Exports from America’s metropolitan areas have increased for three consecutive years, and continue to set new records city by city,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “We know that businesses that successfully sell their goods and services abroad help support local economies and increase our manufacturing base here at home. That is why the Department of Commerce is committed to working in communities around the country to help businesses increase their export potential and enter new markets. U.S. exports support nearly 10 million American jobs – and their contributions to local economies are being seen from Washington State to Washington, D.C.”

Congressman Gene Green added, “I am glad to see that Houston has become the number one metropolitan area exporter in the United States.  Houston is home to the largest petrochemical complex in the country, the Port of Houston, a strong oil and gas sector, and the Houston Medical Center.  We have been the national leader in job and economic growth for the past decade and we take great pride in our cooperative ‘can-do’ attitude.  I hope to see us continue to be America’s leading export region for years to come.”

According to the international trade figures released today by ITA, Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown is one of 32 metropolitan areas with merchandise exports worth more than $10 billion. 153 U.S. metropolitan areas exported more than $1 billion in merchandise in 2012.  Thirty-one of the top 50 metropolitan areas for exports registered positive growth between 2011 and 2012 – with 29 of them reaching record export levels.

“The growth in metro exports shows that selling internationally has become a much more viable option for many of our state’s businesses,” said Steve Recobs, Director of the U.S. Commercial Service Export Assistance Center in Houston. “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. We’d like to help you realize that potential.”

More information on the report can be found at  A fact sheet on the Houston metropolitan area can be found at  

For more information on Texas exporting, the U.S. Commercial Service Export Assistance Center in Houston can be reached at (713) 209-3105, or by visiting