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Report: Rochester ranks No. 39 in NAFTA trade

Rochester Business Journal
November 7, 2013

Rochester ranked No. 39 in its trade with NAFTA partners Mexico and Canada in a study that highlights metropolitan areas critical to North American competitiveness.

A Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program report released Thursday said the Rochester area did nearly $3.7 billion in trade with North America partners, with Canada making up $2.3 billion of the total in 2010. Total trade with Mexico was $1.4 billion. Machinery and tools were found to be the top exported commodities to both countries.

The report, “Metro North America: Cities and Metros as Hubs of Advanced Industries and Integrated Good Trade,” offers the first analysis of production and trade among North America’s metropolitan areas and identifies the top metropolitan trading relationships across the three countries, Brookings Institution officials said.
Twenty years after the enactment of the North American Free Trade Agreement, advanced
manufacturing sectors today extend their supply chains across the United States, Mexico, and Canada, anchored by productive metropolitan hubs in all three countries, authors of the report said. The report is part of the Global Cities Initiative.

“The world is emerging as a network of cities that link together through trade and learn from each other about how best to urbanize,” said Bruce Katz, Brookings vice president, co-director of the Metropolitan Policy Program, and co-director of the Global Cities Initiative, in a statement. “Nowhere is that more clear than in North America, given the integrated nature of the U.S., Mexican, and Canadian economies.”
Among other findings “Metro North America” noted:

  • U.S. metropolitan areas traded $512 billion in goods—58 percent of total goods traded—with Canadian and Mexican metropolitan areas in 2010. The 25 U.S.-Canada metro pairs, led by New York City and Toronto, and 15 U.S.-Mexico metro pairs, led by Los Angeles and Mexico City, each traded more than $1 billion in goods in 2010.
  • Goods trade in key advanced industries binds distinct sets of metropolitan areas across North America. The largest trading relationships are between Detroit and Toronto in automotive, San Jose and Mexico City in electronics, and Seattle and Montreal in aerospace.

 The North American share of world exports has dropped steadily over the past two decades, the report states. “Metro North America” offers recommendations for how the United States, Mexico, and Canada can reverse this decline and reposition themselves together on the global stage, officials said.

Brookings Institution is releasing the report in advance of the Global Cities Initiative’s forum in Mexico City on Nov. 14. The forum, “GCI Mexico: Boosting North American Competitiveness,” is expected to bring together leaders from the United States, Mexico, and Canada, who will have participated in a series of tours, workshops, and networking events in Querétaro and Mexico City.

(c) 2013 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail

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