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City Looking To Bolster Local Manufacturing By Increasing Exports

Ryan Loyd
TPR News
San Antonio City Hall

San Antonio city leaders are looking at ways to increase its import and export industry, but are focusing intently on exports.

According to reports, Canada, Mexico, Japan, the United Kingdom and China are the top five export markets for the city, with exports increasing by $5 billion from 2003 to 2010.

Many within the city now want to focus on challenges like logistics in transporting or varying regulations in exports that block San Antonio's success.

"We're not going to be able to ship stuff to China that they make themselves,” said District 6 City Councilman Ray Lopez. “So what do we have? Well, today we recognize that we have medical devices. There are other things that we're producing here in San Antonio that may have placement there. There may also be some regulatory issues with some of those devices."

The city's economic development meeting is the first stop for planning where those like Lopez can evaluate best practices. A few local policy ideas include more trade missions and establishing an export workforce who are experts in things like regulations.

Lopez thinks San Antonio's seventh ranking in exports in the country from 2009 to 2010 is impressive.

"It's not a headline every day, but when you talk to some folks that are involved in that industry, people like folks that are very close to the NAFTA agreements and the business transactions that are happening, recognize that there's a tremendous amount of opportunity,” he said.

Ryan Loyd was Texas Public Radio's city beat and political reporter. He left the organization in December, 2014.