With all the talk of 20-percent tariffs on Mexican imports and renegotiating NAFTA, exporters across the country are casting a wary eye on the new administration in Washington.
The Brookings Institute has produced an analysis of what it calls export intensity: a measurement of a city or metro area’s gross domestic product produced by exports. We expect large coast port cities like New York, Seattle, Los Angeles and New Orleans to show up in the data, and New Orleans, according to the analysis, is export heavy. But Baton Rouge and Lake Charles are also exposed to any disruptions in export trade that could occur based on the new administration’s “America First” trade policy.
And while coastal metropolitan areas like New York and San Diego are huge exporters, Brookings’ analysis finds that regions tied to energy are much more dependent on exports, with Lake Charles leading the nation.
Among all metro areas in the country, Lake Charles, which like Baton Rouge has a heavy concentration of petro-chemical companies, generates 36.9 percent of its GDP through exports. Baton Rouge leads among the top 100 metro areas with 24.3 percent GDP based on exports, with New Orleans at No. 3 with 18.7 percent.
President Trump’s campaign to remake the nation’s global trade relationships will not be a remote or academic affair—it will have real implications for regional economies. And while the benefits or disruptions of change will affect some places more than others, all of America — big-city metro and small-town or rural; red and blue; coastal or in-between — has a stake in what happens.
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