International trade supports 720,800 jobs in Colorado, representing nearly one out of every five jobs in the state, according to a new study from Business Roundtable.

“Export growth increases jobs by generating new business for Colorado’s manufacturers, service providers and farmers,” the study reads.”Imports support jobs and keep costs low, helping Colorado businesses compete and saving Colorado families real dollars at the cash register.”

The study – prepared by Trade Partnership Worldwide with the latest-available employment data from 2017 – examines the net impacts of both exports and imports of goods and services on U.S. jobs in all 50 states. It also compared 2017 data to pre-NAFTA data from 1992. The study found that trade-supported jobs in Colorado increased by 73 percent from 1992, when NAFTA was implemented, to 2017 — nearly three times faster than total employment.

Colorado exported $8.3 billion in goods and $15.2 billion in services in 2017, including meat products, miscellaneous chemical preparations, miscellaneous leather products and travel services. The Centennial State ranked among the top 15 state exporters in 10 industries, including fifth in meat products ($1.5 billion), 10th in miscellaneous chemical preparations ($316 million), 10th in miscellaneous leather products ($39 million), and 12th in beverages ($132 million).

Colorado exported $4.6 billion in goods and services to Canada and Mexico in 2017, the study revealed, and trade with Canada and Mexico alone supports 221,600 jobs in Colorado.

This study highlights the need to preserve and strengthen the North American trading relationship by passing the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) this year, according to a news release from Business Insider.

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Exports from Colorado to Canada and Mexico have increased by 248 percent since the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the study found.

“The CEO members of Business Roundtable, who lead companies with more than 15 million employees, strongly support congressional passage of USMCA implementing legislation this year,” said Tom Linebarger, Chairman and CEO of Cummins Inc. and Chair of the Business Roundtable Trade & International Committee. “We stand united to preserve and modernize North American trade, which supports over 12 million jobs and a strong U.S. economy.”

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