CalChamber Capitol Report: California, U.S. Set New Export Record

InternationalNewly released trade statistics from the U.S. Department of Commerce revealed another record-breaking year in exports for California and the United States.

“With more than 95% of the world’s population living outside the United States, international trade is more important than ever,” explains Susanne Stirling, vice president of international affairs for the California Chamber of Commerce, in the latest CalChamber Capitol Report video.

The U.S. Department of Commerce released the International Trade in U.S. Goods and Services Data and the 2014 Trade Statistics through the International Trade Administration’s Trade Stats Express on February 5.

“Exports have played a critical role in America’s economic comeback, and they continued to do so in 2014,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker when the statistics were released.

Secretary Pritzker’s comments echoed those of President Barack Obama in his 2015 State of the Union Address in which he noted that exports are much higher now than ever, and that exports amount to higher wages.

U.S. Exports

U.S. exports in goods reached more than $1.6 trillion in 2014, a 2.8% increase from the previous year.

The largest export markets for U.S. goods in 2014 were Canada ($312.1 billion, up 3.5%), Mexico ($240.3 billion, up 6.3%), China ($124 billion, up 1.9%) and Japan ($67 billion, up 2.7%).

Top goods sectors included transportation equipment, computers and electronics, chemicals, and nonelectrical machinery.

U.S. exports in services increased $22.9 billion to $710.3 billion. This was due to a rise in travel, higher costs for the use of intellectual property, and an increase in the use of financial services.

California Exports

California exports in goods reached $174.1 billion, a 3.6% increase from 2013. Exports from California accounted for 10.7% of total U.S. exports in 2014.


California’s top export destinations are Mexico, Canada, China, Japan and South Korea. California is one of the top exporting states in the nation of computers, electronic products, and sales of food and kindred products.

Computers and electronic products are California’s leading export, accounting for 24.5% of all the state’s exports.

CalChamber Position

The California Chamber of Commerce, in keeping with long-standing policy, enthusiastically supports free trade worldwide, expansion of international trade and investment, fair and equitable market access for California products abroad and elimination of disincentives that impede the international competitiveness of California business.

More Information

Detailed information vital to the businesses that make California one of the largest exporting states in the nation and one of the largest economies in the world is available on the international trade section of the CalChamber website: Please refer to the CalChamber Trade Statistics webpage.

Staff Contact: Susanne Stirling

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Susanne T. Stirling, senior vice president, international affairs, has headed CalChamber international activities for more than four decades. She is an appointee of the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to the National Export Council, and serves on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce International Policy Committee, the California International Relations Foundation, and the Chile-California Council. Originally from Denmark, she studied at the University of Copenhagen and holds a B.A. in international relations from the University of the Pacific, where she served as a regent from 2012 to 2021. She earned an M.A. from the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California.