Exports Critical For Michigan's Recovery

Global economy boosted Michigan's exports by $6 billion in 2011; state poised for further growth

The state of Michigan set a record for exports in 2011, a sign that the state’s economy is recovering, according to one manufacturing industry advocate.

Michigan exported $50.8 billion in exports last year, a $6 billion increase over 2010, according to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The biggest winner was exports of transportation equipment, which increased by $3 billion and was up 13.8 percent from 2010 to 2011.

“Exports are a critical part of Michigan’s economy,” said Mike Johnston, vice president of Global Affairs for the Michigan Manufacturers Association. “Our market is not down the street or around the corner. A manufacturing economy is truly a global economy. Manufacturers complete globally. Increased exports are a good measure of how the Michigan economy is doing.”

James Hohman, a fiscal policy analyst with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, said the largest growth in exports to foreign countries was Mexico and China.

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Mexico increased by $1.5 billion from 2010 to 2011.

Michigan exports to China increased by $506 million from 2010 to 2011, an increase of 23.2 percent. Hohman said exports to China have grown by 1,169 percent since 2000.

“Mexico and China have become major markets for Michigan goods, showing they ought not be the scapegoat for the state’s decade-long recession,” Hohman wrote in an email. “Growing exports have been the lone bright spot in Michigan’s decade-long recession and are growing even more now that the recession is over.”


See also:

Should China Stop Buying From Michigan?

Michigan Exports to China Grow

Michigan's Mixed Messages on Trade With China

China and Saudi Arabia – Two of Michigan’s Best Customers

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There aren’t many policies that get near unanimous support from economists, but free trade is one of them. Despite this, a central theme of the 2016 presidential campaign, heard from both political parties, was that free trade was somehow harmful to the United States and corrective action was needed. Mark Perry, an economics professor at the University of Michigan-Flint and scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, makes the case for why President Trump’s assessment of free trade is misguided.

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