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Big Drop In Tech Exports Last Year

While technology remained the largest U.S. merchandise export, high-tech exports fell 16 percent in 2009, according to a new report released Tuesday by the TechAmerica Foundation.

The report said that U.S. tech exports reached $188 billion in 2009, 18 percent of all us exports. Imports of high-tech products also fell in 2009 by 11 percent to a total of $299 billion. This reduction in imports helped improve the high-tech trade deficit, which still stands at $111 billion.

Four states, Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana and Wyoming, actually saw a growth in tech exports between 2008 and 2009. While California continues to be the top high-tech exporter, its exports also were down 16 percent to $41.3 billion. Other top tech exporting states include Texas, Florida, New York, and Massachusetts, which also saw a decline in tech exports.

The top foreign market for U.S. high-tech goods was the European Union, where U.S. exports dropped 20 percent. The four other top U.S. export markets were Mexico, where exports actually rose by 1 percent, followed by Canada, China and Japan.

The only high-tech sector that did see a slight increase in exports in 2009 was in electro-medical equipment, which rose 1 percent to $20.2 billion

"Trade is vital to every state's economy and to the U.S. high-tech industry as a whole," TechAmerica Foundation Vice President of Research and Industry Analysis Josh James said in a statement. "After several years of rising exports, the tech industry saw a 16 percent dip in 2009 largely resulting from the global economic downturn."

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