Report shows Missouri’s major trade partners ahead of Gov. Parson’s Japan trip

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(The Center Square) – New research from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center shows the state’s major export partners, among them Japan, where Republican Missouri Gov. Mike Parson will visit next week on a trade mission.

The research division of the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development recently published its annual summary on the state’s manufacturing industries. It included information on international markets.

The state’s exports to Japan were $430.5 million in 2022, approximately 3% of the $16.2 billion of manufactured and other products shipped to other countries through Missouri ports. A media release from Parson’s office stated Missouri’s total exports to Japan was $455 million in 2022.

“Leading Japanese companies are already operating in our state, contributing to our economic growth, and creating jobs for Missourians,” Parson said in a statement announcing the trip. “We are excited to promote Missouri as a prime business location and to encourage continued investment and mutual success.”

Parson will meet with executives from Hitachi, Kawasaki, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Nidec, Panasonic, Toyoda Gosei and ZEN-NOH, according to a media release. He also will meet with the Japan External Trade Organization and Rahm Emanuel, the U.S. ambassador to Japan who also was mayor of Chicago and President Barack Obama’s chief of staff.

The top countries for Missouri’s exports were Canada and Mexico, according to the state report. More than $5.8 billion in products were exported to Canada and $3.4 billion to Mexico in 2022. Rounding out the top-10 countries were China ($673 million), Germany ($678 million), Brazil ($438 million), Korea ($430 million), Japan, France ($360 million), Belgium ($326 million) and the United Kingdom ($322 million).

The top primary export for Japan was “food and kindred products,” valued at $124 million. The primary export for Canada was transportation equipment ($2.3 billion) and for Mexico was agricultural products ($1 billion).

Missouri’s exports in the second quarter in 2023 increased 6.2% to more than $8.8 billion. Three countries accounted for more than half of the export income: Canada ($3.2 billion), Mexico ($1.9 billion) and Germany ($393 million).

The report found manufacturing comprised 12.4% or $48.35 billion of Missouri’s $389.93 billion economy in 2022. The national rate is 11%.

The 282,255 manufacturing jobs in the state account for 11.6% of the state’s private-sector employment, according to the report. There are 7,636 manufacturers in the state and they’re paying an average annual wage of $67,573, higher than the state’s overall private-sector wage of $60,159. Missouri’s manufacturing payroll in 2022 was $19.1 billion.

Manufacturing jobs grew 6.2% during the last five years, more than double the national growth rate of 2.8%.

Parson’s previous trade missions included trips to France, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Netherlands. All expenses for trade missions are paid for by the Hawthorn Foundation, a nonprofit organization started approximately 40 years ago by Republican Kit Bond when he was governor.

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