Alaska exports increased to many of the state's top destinations, including Japan (up 15 percent); Mexico (up 50 percent); China (up 57 percent); Germany (up 30 percent); Spain (up 84 percent); France (up 101 percent); Portugal (up 150 percent); and Chile (up 164 percent). Several other Alaska export destinations posted solid gains as well.
Seafood, as well as mineral ores, fertilizer, petroleum distillates and coal were among Alaska's top exports. Not included in the statistics is the significant value of professional services companies in Alaska export globally. Both are key job-creating developments in the state's economy.
"Ninety-five percent of the world's consumers live outside of the United States, and more Alaska companies are looking to increase their bottom line by making new sales abroad, said Export Assistance Director Chuck Becker. "Exporting helps companies grow and compete by enabling them to diversify their portfolios and weather changes in the domestic economy."
The Bush Administration has pressed forward bilaterally, regionally, and multilaterally to expand trade and the economic opportunities that it creates for all Americans. Among these are the U.S. free trade agreements with Singapore, Chile, and Australia that have reduced or eliminated trade barriers and opened doors for more sales of U.S. goods and services to those countries. Negotiations have also concluded on a U.S.-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) involving Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic.
The Alaska U.S. Export Assistance Center is part of the worldwide network of the U.S. Commercial Service, a Commerce Department agency that helps small and medium-sized U.S. businesses sell their products and services globally. Now in its 25th year, the U.S. Commercial Service has kept pace with the changing dynamics of a global economy and has expanded to include U.S. Export Assistance Centers throughout the United States and more than 150 international offices in over 80 countries. In 2004, the U.S. Commercial Service helped U.S. businesses generate export sales worth $26 billion dollars.