The Impact of International Trade on Utah’s Economy (Video)

International exports are responsible for about $12 billion a year and 20% of the jobs in Utah.

Derek Miller, President and CEO of the World Trade Center Utah, says exports are such a huge part of Utah's economy that the state would be in a lot of trouble without them.
"We're 6th in the nation as a percentage of GDP that comes from exports," says Miller. "You always hear the term 'trade deficit.' Utah is actually a trade surplus state to the tune of about $4 billion a year. We're exporting more than we're importing."
Miller says Utah's top exports are precious metals. But, it's what comes after that might be surprising. Miller says information technology, including software, equipment and support is a big export from the Beehive State, as is transportation equipment and agricultural products.
Miller also says tourism is a huge import for Utah. 
"Tourism is really just importing dollars. People come, they spend their money, they leave. We don't have to educate their kids; we don't have to build roads."
Miller leads a number of trade missions every year to help Utah businesses foster business partnerships abroad. Miller says those trips help because not many foreigners could find Utah on a map.
"When we go and visit, the question is always 'where's Utah?' The way I always answer that question is "do you know where Las Vegas is?' Everybody around the world seems to know where Las Vegas is. I say we're close to Las Vegas, but we're very different."