Washington exports surge 11% in first half of 2013

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Washington merchandise exports increased 11 percent from the start of the year through June 30, compared with the same period last year, according to data released Thursday by the International Trade Administration. State sales from exports grew to a record high of $39 billion, up from $35.2 billion year over year.

The new state numbers, when coupled with increased export activity nationwide, point to a growing business for exports, according to Francisco Sánchez, undersecretary of commerce for International Trade. He said the trend is fueled, in part, by greater marketing abroad and is "creating thousands of new jobs." He said it confirms efforts to create global advantages for American businesses are having an impact. "

The United States is selling more goods and services to the rest of the world than ever before," he said.

Washington's merchandise export sales in the first half of 2013 outpaced the 2012 figures in such destinations, as Qatar, India, Mexico, Germany, and Russia. Key merchandise export categories include transportation equipment, agricultural products, petroleum products, computer and electronic products, and foods.