US Department of Commerce says Charleston WV had record exports - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

US Department of Commerce says Charleston WV had record exports in 2012

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Merchandise exports from the Charleston metropolitan area totaled a record $2.1 billion in 2012, which is an increase of 4 percent or about $89 million from 2011.

That's according to new export information from the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration data released this week.

The data pointed out key merchandise export categories for the Charleston metropolitan area last year – transportation equipment, machinery, computer and electronic products, chemicals and mining, with the exception of oil and gas.

West Virginia was one of 170 metropolitan areas that reached record export levels.

"If you can do business in the United States, one of the world's most open and competitive markets, you're a likely candidate for doing business overseas," Leslie Drake, director of the U.S. Commercial Service Export Assistance Center in Charleston, said in a news release. "These metro numbers show that worldwide destinations are ripe for area exporters.

"We'd like to help you realize that potential."

There were 153 U.S. metropolitan areas that exported more than $1 billion in merchandise in 2012, according to ITA's trade figures, and more than 200 areas showed positive export growth between 2011 and 2012.

"In 2012, U.S. companies reached an all-time record of $2.2 trillion in goods and services exports, supporting nearly 10 million jobs," Francisco Sanchez, under secretary of commerce for International Trade, said in a news release. "Metropolitan areas across the country play a key role in strengthening our economy and continuing the growth of our exports."

ITA works under the President's National Export Initiative with the goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014 and also works with American businesses to identify export opportunities for their products and services.