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New study looks at Portland trade

December 18, 2010

New economic study highlights international trade as a strength for both the Portland-metro region and the state
Data show that International Trade sector gives Oregon and Portland substantial competitive advantages; provides jobs
By Portland Business Alliance

PORTLAND, Ore. – Today, business and community leaders released a report showing that international trade is an economic strength for both the Portland-metro region and the entire state of Oregon, increasing wages and growing jobs. This report is a companion analysis to A Check Up on the Portland Region’s Economic Health, which identified alarming findings about job loss and sagging wages and incomes in the Portland-metro region.

The International Trade Study reveals that 470,000 Oregon jobs are associated with exporting and importing activities in both the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors. Portland-metro accounts for 268,000 of those jobs. Additionally, the study says that workers in export-oriented firms earn between 9 and 18 percent more than their counterparts in non-export-oriented firms, showing that international trade doesn’t just create jobs; it creates higher paying jobs.

“This is some welcome good news on the economy. International trade is one area where Portland has a natural and historic competitive advantage, and these results show the value of that for jobs and wages,” said Roger Hinshaw, chair of the Portland Business Alliance board of directors.

The report was compiled by The Trade Partnership for the Portland Business Alliance, Associated Oregon Industries, Oregon Business Association, Oregon Business Council, Port of Portland and the Pacific Northwest International Trade Association. The report confirms the findings of a 2010 national analysis conducted by the Brookings Institution, which found that Portland was one of the top twenty U.S. metropolitan areas in exporting strength and one of only four metropolitan areas in the country that doubled the real value of exports between 2003 and 2008.

To view the International Trade Study, visit

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