Brookings-Rockefeller Project on State and Metropolitan Innovation

Building the Next Economy From the Bottom-Up: The Metropolitan Export Initiative

The Metropolitan Export Initiative (MEI) is a ground-up collaborative effort to help regional civic, business, and political leaders—with their states—create and implement customized Metropolitan Export Plans (MEPs). These localized export plans will apply market intelligence to develop targeted, integrated export-related services and strategies that help regions better connect their firms to global customers, as outlined by their individualized export goals. These MEPs will also lay out the kinds of state and federal reforms needed to support the effective implementation of such plans. Ideally, these export plans will be elements of broader regional economic development strategies.

Ten Steps to Delivering a Successful Metro Export Plan
Brookings has published a guide for state and metropolitan leaders that summarizes the key steps toward developing an effective metropolitan export plan and initiative. It serves as a how-to-guide for private, nonprofit, and government leaders in metro areas who are interested in developing effective action-oriented metropolitan export plans and initiatives. Additional resources include survey templates, regional survey analyses, and regional policy memos.
Full Export Plan Guide »
Appendix A: The National Export Initiative and the National Export Strategy »
Appendix B: Key Federal Agencies/Departments Involved in Exports »
Appendix C: Sampling of Common Export Terms and Acronyms »
Appendix D: Key Lessons and Observations from the Four Metro Export Initiative Pilots »
Appendix E: Sources of Metro Economy and Export Data »
Appendix F: Federal Grant Programs for Exports »

Additional Guide Resources
One-on-One Business Interview Form » (PDF)
Business Survey Template » (PDF)
Greater Portland Survey Analysis » (PDF)
Greater Portland Export Business Plan » (PDF)
Minneapolis-Saint Paul survey analysis » (PDF)
Syracuse/Center State survey analysis (forthcoming)
Greater Portland Policy Memo » (PDF)
Los Angeles policy memo (forthcoming)
Minneapolis-Saint Paul policy memo » (PDF)
Syracuse/Center State policy memo » (PDF)

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Background on Metropolitan Exports
Strengthen Federalism: Establish a Regional Export Accelerator Challenge (REACH) Grant Program to Boost U.S. Exports and Trade Capacity »
A Program to Boost U.S. Exports and Trade Capacity »

Amy Liu's commentary on why metro export plans are critical to national efforts to boost global trade »

Export Nation 2012: How U.S. Metropolitan Areas Are Driving National Growth »
Export Nation: How U.S. Metros Lead National Export Growth and Boost Competitiveness »
Boosting Exports, Delivering Jobs and Economic Growth »

See all content related to exports »

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Current Metropolitan Export Plans
Brookings builds on lessons learned from a one-year pilot (2011–2012) where the Metropolitan Policy Program collaborated with leaders in four metro areas to develop localized export plans.

Greater Portland Export Plan
Overview »

Full Export Plan »


Los Angeles Export Plan
Overview » 
Full Export Plan »  

Minneapolis-Saint Paul Export Plan
Overview » 
Full Export Plan » 

Syracuse/Center State Export Plan
Overview » 
Full Export Plan »


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Data Resources 
Export Nation 2012 Database » (files available from page's sidebar)
Metropolitan and state profiles highlighting export intensity »

Other related data resources »

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Metropolitan Export Exchange: A Peer Learning Opportunity
Brookings is working to help other metropolitan leaders successfully adopt and implement customized MEPs. The Metropolitan Export Exchange is a program for teams of metropolitan leaders who want to learn how to develop their MEPs in a more guided setting. The Metropolitan Export Exchange aims to help more metro areas adopt or refine their global trade strategies so the nation can remain a center of growth and innovation for years to come.

For more information about this peer learning opportunity e-mail Mariela Martinez.

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