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  February 11th, 2015 | Written by


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No. 11 Dallas, Texas

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

$26.6 billion | + $4.1 billion | + 18.4 percent

Despite what you may have seen or now assume about Dallas given what you saw on the eponymous TV series, oil is not what the region shares with the rest of the world anymore. If J.R. Ewing were starting out today he’d be more likely to be getting into the computer and electronic product market, which accounts for more than a quarter (27.8 percent) of all Dallas exports. (Though, he’s sure to still be a cad and a scoundrel, not to mention a lowdown polecat.) One recent point of emphasis in regards to foreign trade has been adding more direct international flights, especially to Asia, from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. “The economic impact from international flights is extraordinary,” says D/FW Airport CEO Jeff Fegan. —SL

No. 12 Peoria, Illinois

$11.1 billion | + $4.1 billion | + 36.94 percent

Peoria snagged the 21st spot on Inc. Magazine’s list of Best Midsize Cities for Business and the fifth spot among midsize metro areas on CNNMoney’s list of Best Places to Launch. Even as the economy sputters, Peoria’s businesses continue to flourish, helped in part by the city’s low corporate real estate rates. With new businesses sprouting up and success among its young companies, the city’s exports reached a new record in 2012 with more than $17 billion shipped, according to data released at press time. —PD

No. 13 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia-CamdenWilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD

$26.2 billion | + $3.5 billion | + 15.42 percent

With its foreign trade zone grabbing its own spot among Global Trade’s Top 25 report, Philadelphia is clearly open for international business. The city’s industrial sector employs more than 100,000 workers and contributes nearly $50 billion annually SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2013 Global Trade 77 to Philly’s direct output, according to Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation. Its $26 billion in exports was good for 11th place overall in the ITA’s report on the Top 50 Metro Areas by export volume, though that total did taper off to $23 billion in 2012. —PD

No. 14 Greenville, South Carolina

Minneapolis-St. PaulBloomington, MN-WI

$11.7 billion | + $3 billion | + 34.48 percent

Those giving thought to locating in the Palmetto State will love what it calls the “South Carolina Advantage:” a 5 percent corporate tax rate and a lot of zeros in other tax columns. There’s no local income tax, no state property tax, no inventory tax, no sales tax on industrial equipment and best of all for global companies, no unitary tax on worldwide profits. Greenville, which calls itself the “economic center of Upstate,” is a perennial member of the Top 50 Cities club, and 2011 was no different. To the city’s $3 billion boost in exports from 2010 to 2012, it added another $550 million in 2012. —PD

No. 15 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

$15.2 billion | + $3 billion | + 24.59 percent

America’s “most livable city” as ranked by Fortune and Forbes, Pittsburgh’s not too bad for business, either. Its labor costs are below the national average, though the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce has made it its business to influence the state to lower its 9.99 percent corporate net income tax rate—the second-highest in the nation. While that may be high, it wasn’t enough to chase out the nine Fortune 500 companies that call Pittsburgh home, among them United States Steel, PNC Financial Services Group and, of course, H.J. Heinz. —PD

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