Kansas exports

Brian Grimmett / KMUW

Kansas Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer got a little taste of what it’s like to be governor on Monday when he presented Wichita’s Lee Aerospace with the Governor’s Exporter of the Year Award.

An economic expert says changes to the international trading system could slow down manufacturing exports in the Wichita area.

Jeremy Hill  is the director of the Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State. He released the 2018 employment forecast earlier this month.

Hill says despite a growing global economy government trade policies and restrictions could impact exports.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Business leaders and members of Kansas’ congressional delegation are supportive of renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA.

Speaking at a summit hosted by the Kansas Chamber of Commerce in Wichita Friday, District 4 Rep. Ron Estes said he wants to modernize NAFTA in a way that keeps the “good parts” of the trade agreement with Canada and Mexico.

Estes said Trump’s statements have begun to focus more on free and fair trade, instead of tearing up agreements.

Pictures of Money / Flickr Creative Commons

Small companies in Kansas looking to expand their export business can get financial assistance through the state's Department of Commerce.

The Small Business Administration awarded the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant to the Kansas Department of Commerce and the Kansas Department of Agriculture. The $380,000 grant was awarded on Tuesday.

The money will be used to help small and medium-sized businesses begin exporting for the first time or expand their existing export business.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW

Companies and small businesses in the Wichita area and south-central Kansas are leading the nation when it comes to global exports. At a time when the majority of the 100 largest metro areas in the U.S. experienced a decline, the region ranks third for its export growth.

Kansas Global Trade Services

A Brookings Institution report ranks Wichita among the top metropolitan areas showing an increase in exports in 2015. The results are part of an effort made by the Kansas Global Trade Services in Wichita.

Wichita’s performance was third best, at 6.8 percent, just behind Bakersfield, Calif., and New Orleans. Twenty-five cents of every dollar of the Wichita economy is from a customer outside of the U.S.

Kansas Global’s Holli Schletzbaum says the nonprofit company meets with people across the state to help them intentionally sell to other countries.

Governor Sam Brownback announced Tuesday the Kansas Department of Commerce is partnering with Kansas Global Trade Services on a $250,000 grant from the Legislature to increase awareness of the importance of exports for the Kansas economy.

The grant will allow Wichita-based Kansas Global to work with communities in the state to promote exports and identify companies with potential to increase exports and create jobs.

Kansas Global is a private, trade advisory firm that builds services ranging from global information to strategic marketing.