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Portland Area Exports Rise, But Fallout From Hanjin Unknown

Trade exports in the Portland-Vancouver metro area increased by 6 percent last year, according to figures released by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The region exported $18.7 billion in goods last year. China, Malaysia and Canada were the Portland region’s main export markets. The top export sectors were computers and agricultural products.

“These numbers really underscore the importance of international trade to the Portland regional economy, where nearly half a million jobs are in some way dependent on trade,” said Valerie Cunningham, a spokesperson with the Portland Business Alliance.

The trade numbers do not take into account the departure of Hanjin and Hapag-Lloyd shipping lines from the Port of Portland earlier this year.

Countries that have current trade agreements with the U.S. accounted for $5.1 billion of the Portland-Vancouver total. Members of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership were significant importers of goods from the Columbia River ports, accounting for about 42 percent of the merchandise exports, according to the Commerce Department. 

The Portland region is the 20th largest export market in the country. However, it was significantly less than the Seattle-Tacoma area, which is the fifth largest exporter in the country.

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