States across the country again increased exports to China during 2008, with 18 exceeding $1 billion in sales, according to the third annual survey of state exports by the US-China Business Council (USCBC).

"Data from across the country -- from New York to California and Louisiana to Washington -- tell us of the importance of China as an export market for US manufacturers and farmers," John Frisbie, USCBC president said.

For details on state-by-state data, see ( .

China is the third-largest US export market, after Canada and Mexico, with $71.5 billion in sales during 2008, up 9.5 percent over 2007. Exports to China and Hong Kong combined totaled $93.1 billion in 2008.

"Some have suggested that China's currency policies make US products less competitive here and abroad, but the facts tell a different story: US companies still make and sell high-quality products to China," Frisbie said.

Frisbie noted that US exports to China and other markets around the world dropped significantly in the fourth quarter under the impact of the global economic downturn, underscoring the importance of coordinated efforts to revitalize national economies and stimulate trade.

"Exports mean jobs," Frisbie said. "US manufacturing and agricultural exports to China have jumped 341 percent so far this decade, far outpacing the 60 percent growth in our exports to the rest of the world during this time. The rapid increase in exports to China is reflected in state and local economies across the country, as this report shows."

"There is every reason to believe this trend will continue when economies rebound," Frisbie added, "but we need to be working with China and other countries to restore trade growth quickly and support jobs for American workers. The US-China Business Council is prepared to work closely with the Obama administration in developing and implementing trade policies that will benefit workers all across America." USCBC issued China trade policy recommendations in January, which can be found at nda tions.pdf ( end ations.pdf) .

The growth trend in manufacturing and agricultural exports to China is complemented by growth in service exports in industries such as travel, insurance, engineering, and express package delivery, which are calculated and reported separately from other exports.

As in 2007, California was the largest exporter of goods and commodities to China in 2008, followed by Washington, Texas, Louisiana, and New York. Key manufacturing states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Michigan were also among the top exporters to China in 2008, as they were in 2007.

Top exports nationally were computers and electronics, agricultural products, chemicals, and transportation equipment.

The USCBC ( ( ) is the leading organization of US companies engaged in business with the People's Republic of China. Founded in 1973, the USCBC provides extensive China-focused information, advisory, and advocacy services, along with events, to roughly 250 US corporations operating within the United States and throughout Asia.


Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.