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Helping Hands Overseas

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Top 50 Exporters by State
State Number of
Total 2002
export sales ($M)
Florida 24 $1,200.91
California 8 $57.18
Texas 6 $57.37
Michigan 3 $73.50
New Jersey 3 $13.49
Wisconsin 1 $81.00
New York 1 $10.00
Virginia 1 $5.60
Illinois 1 $4.95
Georgia 1 $3.00
Oklahoma 1 $2.97
Washington, DC 1 $2.00
Total 50 $1,511.97
2003 Hispanic Business Inc. Reprinting, copying, or transmitting all or part of this information requires written permission.

Another reason for Herko's increase in exports also applies to MARISA Industries, the number 14 company on the Top 50 Exporter directory. Both companies supply parts to auto manufacturers in Mexico. As their customers' production increases, so does their need for components. At MARISA, exports increased 25 percent, from $12 million to $15 million, between 2001 and 2002.

Such supplier relationships are becoming more common in the global auto manufacturing market. Manuel Rosales, assistant administrator for the SBA's Office of International Trade, says Hispanic companies are more likely than the overall business population to participate in the market by exporting goods and services.

According to Mr. Rosales, around 2.5 percent of Hispanic companies receive some export revenues, compared with around 1.8 percent for the entire U.S. business population.

"We find that a lot of the multicultural communities in the U.S. are really very comfortable in the international arena," Mr. Rosales states. "Services are a big component of the growth in small business in the international arena."

The SBA also has guaranteed loan programs in conjunction with state governments in California and, just recently, Florida. Under the California program, for example, the state could guarantee a loan of up to half a million dollars, while anything over that amount would be guaranteed by the SBA. Texas is expected to become the third state to enter into such an agreement with the SBA. The three states Florida, California, and Texas account for more than three-fourths of the companies on the Top 50 Exporter directory (see table, "Top 50 Exporters by State").

On the larger political front, Mr. Rosales says the North American Free Trade Agreement has helped U.S. exporters increase their foreign sales and has encouraged companies that previously didn't export to make an entry into the global economy. He believes trade agreements with Australia, Chile, Central America, and the Americas as a whole (the Free Trade Area of the Americas) will open up even more opportunities to U.S. exporters.


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