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New data shows Houston pulling ahead of New York City as the largest goods exporting region in the country. The cause? Texas' thriving economic climate, regulatory friendly environment, and energy boom.
The state of Texas has been the nation's leading exporter for eleven consecutive years, so the shift in goods exports dominance isn't exactly surprising, but is certainly noteworthy.
According the Financial Times, the shake up in export power is a direct result of Texas' flourishing energy boom:
The metropolitan area’s exports were worth $110.3bn in 2012, up 5.6 per cent from last year, pushing the New York area into second place after a 2.7 per cent drop to $102.3bn.
The largest component of Houston’s exports, accounting for a third of the total at $37bn, is petroleum and coal products, reflecting soaring US sales of products such as diesel, petrol and liquified petroleum gas, which more than doubled between 2007 and 2012.
The second-largest category of Houston’s exports is chemicals, worth $31bn last year, which benefited from cheap natural gas used as a raw material for many commonly used products.
Partner an energy boom with one of the most employer friendly climates in the country, and you get the Texas success story. According to the Mercatus Center study that ranked states on a number of freedoms, varying from economic friendliness to helmet laws and everything in between, "Texas is first in the country in terms of labor market freedom. It is a right-to-work state and remains the only state not to require employers to contribute to workers’ compensation coverage."
Companies like Caterpillar, Samsung and Toyota have opened new project sites in the Lone Star State as a result of Texas' business friendly attitude. Area Development Magazine named Texas as the Top State for Doing Business the last two years in a row, "for its overall business environment, including its cost of doing business, corporate tax environment, incentives programs, speed of permitting, and access to capital and project funding."
Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Lewis Black.