The United States is a network of markets, each with its own economic characteristics and key sectors. When you’re looking for sales opportunities, it’s important to find out which of these markets offer you the best chances of success.
The fastest-growing manufacturing areas, for example, include California, Indiana, Massachusetts, Ohio and New York. Some companies in these states are adding domestic capacity rather than shipping the work to Asia, which is a very positive sign. Michigan continues to be a number-one destination for Canadian goods, largely because of the auto sector, but also for other industries.
At the municipal level, St. Louis is a big market in the agriculture, agri-food and aerospace/defence sectors. In Kansas City, to take another example, the major activities are in health sciences, life sciences and animal health. Chicago is prominent in many industrial sectors, while Milwaukee is home to businesses that concentrate on advanced manufacturing. As for infrastructure renewal and upgrading, that’s going on in cities across the country.
Consumer goods offer additional broad-based opportunities in every U.S. region. Savings rates went up after the 2008-2009 financial crisis and consumers are now spending again. This is precisely what the U.S. economy needed as it emerged from an essentially no-growth period, and Canadian exporters of consumer products are well positioned to reap the benefits — especially because of our low dollar.
U.S. Regional Markets
Great Lakes: Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky
- #1 market for Canadian exports
- about 1/5 of total exports
- bulk is transportation related because of Michigan’s historic position as centre of auto industry
South Central: Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas
- Texas largest market for Canadians
- offers business-friendly environment, low labour costs and low taxes
New England: Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont
- traditionally imports resource-based commodities
- developing demand for advanced technology, technology transfer and commercialization
Southwest: California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Hawaii
- southwest has huge pools of investment capital, largely because of California
- contains one of world’s largest concentrations of aerospace and defence industries
- largest biotechnology and life sciences industry in U.S.
Northeast: New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania
- huge business and manufacturing base
- excellent market for commodities, products and services
Northwest: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska
- some of world’s biggest companies headquartered here
- Washington State largest concentration of aerospace workers in the world
Mid-Atlantic: Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, the Virginias
- largest metropolitan economies in U.S.
- mid-Atlantic country’s major defence procurement market
- home to many federal R&D laboratories
Rocky Mountain: Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah
- region imports mining machinery, fertilizers, live animals, newsprint, softwood lumber and aircraft, aircraft parts
Southeast: Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, the Carolinas, Florida
- imports range of products, from auto parts to medical supplies
- Florida gateway to Central America, the Caribbean and Latin America
Upper Midwest: Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, the Dakotas
- long history of doing business with Canada
- excellent starting point for first-time exporters
Midwest: Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin
- numerous Fortune 500 companies
- headquarters of thousands of other businesses covering almost all sectors