El Paso has moved up one notch to the nation’s 10th largest exporter on the list of 388 metropolitan areas, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

That puts El Paso just below Dallas and just ahead of San Francisco.

The latest totals of export trade for 2016 show $26.5 billion in goods moved through El Paso, 84 percent of which was bound for Mexico.

That’s a 162 percent increase since 2006 and means El Paso accounted for 13 percent of all the goods exported from Texas.

“Eight years ago, El Paso was 26th in the nation, so this has been a steady and strong trend,” said Robert Queen, the director of the U.S. Commerce Department’s Export Assistance Center in El Paso.

The El Paso metropolitan statistical area includes Hudspeth County.

“It’s because of Mexico and trade with Mexico and the great relationship we have with Mexico,” Queen said. “If you’re trading with Mexico or close to Mexico, it’s good for business.”

El Paso is now well plugged into the supply chain between U.S. companies and Mexican companies, including those in this area that make metal and plastic parts for Mexican maquiladoras.

El Paso’s top export goods are computer and electronic products that account for $14.4 billion, followed by $2.9 billion worth of electrical equipment, appliances and components.

“We’re also bringing in raw materials from the Midwest,” Queen said. “Here that’s pretty well finished, and they’re utilizing El Paso’s huge logistical infrastructure.

“We have a lot of companies in the area that are in the logistics business and are in customs documentation preparation.”

Across the state line, neighboring Doña Ana County lead New Mexico with $1.6 billion in exports, 80 percent of which were bound for Mexico.

Doña Ana County now ranks 111th in the nation, largely because of the growing production and trade activity in Santa Teresa, Queen said.

The Albuquerque-Rio Rancho area, which led the state for years, came in with $993 million in exports for a 153 ranking.


Email El Paso Inc. reporter David Crowder at dcrowder@elpasoinc.com or call (915) 534-4422, ext. 122 and (915) 630-6622.


Export trade rankings – 2016

Top 12 US exporting cities. Figures in billions

MSA City 2015 2016
1. New York-Newark
Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA
New York$95.6 $89.6
2. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugarland
Sugarland
Houston$97.0 $84.1
3. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA Seattle $67.2 $61.9
4. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim Los Angeles $61.7 $61.2 
5. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin Chicago $44.8 $43.9
6. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI Detroit $44.3 $42.1
7. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach Miami  $33.2$32.7 
8. New Orleans-Metairie New Orleans  $27.0$29.5 
9. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington Dallas  $27.4 $27.2 
10. El Paso El Paso$24.6 $26.4 
11. Cincinnati-Middletown Cincinnati $24.1 $26.3 
12. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward San Francisco$25.0$24.5 

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce

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