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Which Cities Rely on Exports the Most?

In the event of a trade war, these communities would have the most to lose.

General Motors Produc Well 5890a1499589c
AP file

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is threatening to rip up trade agreements and slap taxes on Chinese and Mexican goods, raising the risk of a trade war.

Which American communities would have the most to lose? The Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program ranked U.S. metro areas by their exports as a percentage of their local gross domestic product — the broadest measure of economic output.

Columbus, Indiana, home of engine maker Cummins Inc., ranks No. 1.

The numbers don't show which communities are most exposed to trade with Mexico or China, but do suggest which local economies depend most on foreign markets. Here are the top 10:

Metro Area Exports as percentage of GDP

  • Columbus, Indiana 50.6 percent
  • Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas 40.0 percent
  • Lake Charles, Louisiana 36.9 percent
  • Elkhart-Goshen, Indiana 34.5 percent
  • Kokomo, Indiana 34.1 percent
  • Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana 30.9 percent
  • Decatur, Alabama 29.1 percent
  • Fond du Lac, Wisconsin 25.1 percent
  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana 24.3 percent
  • Spartanburg, South Carolina 24.1 percent

Source: Brookings analysis of data from the Commerce Department; Labor Department; Moody's Analytics; Internal Revenue Service; Energy Information Agency; NAFSA: Association of International Educators; Sabre

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