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  February 11th, 2015 | Written by


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 No. 6 Chicago, Illinois

Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI

$39.5 billion | + $5.8 billion | + 17.21 percent

Not surprisingly, Chicago’s main export destination is nearby neighbor Canada, which took $13.7 billion of the Windy City’s products—minerals and fuels—or nearly three times as much as its No. 2 partner, Mexico ($5.4 billion). But don’t think that means Chicago is stuck in the past; from 2001-’08, Chicago recorded the greatest number of new or expanded facilities in the United States. Chicago has the third-largest science and engineering workforce of any metropolitan area in the nation. And its using that knowhow to grow new markets such as Indonesia. “There’s great potential and opportunity for international companies to expand here in Chicago,” says Mayor Rahm Emanuel. —SL

 No. 7 Seattle, Washington

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

$41.1 billion | + $5.7 billion | + 16.1 percent

As you might expect from a city that has experienced economic booms courtesy of such disparate industries as timber and aerospace, the Emerald City exports a variety of new-economy goods such as computer parts as well as old-economy items that include hunting, fishing and, dagnabbit, trapping gear. Since its day as the gateway to the Klondike gold rush, Seattle has taken advantage of its geography and there is little doubt the city benefits from its port being a day closer to Asia than any other American port. Not surprisingly, three of the city’s top four export partners are located in Asia (China, Japan, Hong Kong). —SL

 No.8 Detroit, Michigan

Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI

$49.4 billion | + $5.4 billion | + 12.27 percent

It’s doubtful any metropolitan area fought harder against the North American Free Trade Agreement than Greater Detroit. It lost that battle, of course, but appears to have won the war, considering that 68.5 percent of Detroit’s merchandise exports travel to NAFTA countries; a cool $33.9 billion. Detroit does so much business with Canada that the Ambassador Bridge is the busiest commercial border crossing in North America; so busy that there is talk of building another bridge to accommodate all that commercial traffic. —SL

No.9 Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City, UT

$16 billion | + $411 million | + 2.6 percent

Utah, led by Salt Lake City, has reaped the benefits of a strong and steady increase in exports for several years. The Brookings Institute estimates that about 50,000 Utahns hold jobs that are directly related to exporting. More than half of those—27,000—are in Salt Lake City. Primary metal manufacturing is by far the city’s largest export, accounting for $12 billion, while the second largest export, electronic products, comes in at a relatively modest $841 million. Primary destinations for those products are Hong Kong ($4.2 billion) and Canada ($1.2 billion). —SL

No.10 San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX

$10.5 billion | + $3.5 billion | + 33.3 percent

“San Antonio is the culture of business,” Mayor Julian Castro proudly exclaims— before touting the city’s million-strong workforce, more than 110,000 highereducation students and the absence of state income tax—in a video produced by San Antonio Economic Development Foundation. One of the top exporters to NAFTA members, the city of San Antonio increased its exports by $3.5 billion from 2010 to 2011, and again in 2012. With its international airport, port and rail support, the city offers excellent access to global markets. —Patrick Dooley