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Texas Trade Reports

Jasmine Revolutions

I was a senior in college when the East European Revolutions occurred in 1989.  I was studying history and international relations and, ironically, taking a course on the history of Communism!  But, it was an amazing time watching history unfold.  The image that has stuck in my mind since then was a picture in the New York Times–the Czechoslovak people standing in Wenceslas Square calling for the end of communism that had suppressed them politically, and economically, for nearly 45 years.

So, are we bearing witness to the same political movement in Tunisia, Egypt and other countries?  Are we witnessing a “Revolution” in the Middle East?  Time will tell but the feeling is eerily familiar to Eastern Europe in Fall of 1989 and Russia in 1991.

So, how does what is happening half-a-world away relate to Texas?  Trade of course.

Source: International Trade Administration

As a percent of Texas’s total trade with the world, the five countries, aggregated together, account for approximately 1%.  Although not a lot, that 1% equates to $1.5 billion to nearly $2 billion in trade each year.  Quite a bit of money, and opportunity, to Texas companies.  Egypt is clearly the largest market of the 5 countries accounting for around a $1 billion each year.  Yemen is the smallest market, but also the poorest of the 5 countries.

Source: International Trade Administration

Computers and electronics, chemicals, and machinery are some of the products Texas trades on an annual basis with the five countries.  Again, Egypt is the dominate market and a large market for machinery, chemicals and petroleum and coal.

On Friday, January 29, US the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped about 166 points due to concerns over political unrest in Egypt and the impact that unrest could have on the Suez Canal–a major canal for trade and oil shipping.  Clearly, if the unrest in Egypt continues or if there is a dramatic regime change then Texas’ trade with Egypt, and the Middle East region as a whole, could be negatively impacted.

About NorthwestExpat

Economic developer and hobbyist photographer. My passions are family, skiing, hiking, Newfs, travelling and exploring the Great Northwest.


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January 2011
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