U.S. high-tech exports declined by more than 20 percent in the first half of 2009, after having seen only one percent growth in 2008. High tech, which accounts for 17 percent of all U.S. exports, fell by 22 percent in Q1 2009 and by 23 percent in Q2 2009 year-over year, according to TechAmerica’s Trade in the Cyberstates 2009 report. "In 2008 high-tech exports were still faring well and we even saw an improvement in the balance of trade for technology goods as imports declined,” said TechAmerica president Christopher W. Hansen. “Yet as the global recession gained steam, U.S. tech exports suffered, declining dramatically in the first half of 2009." "These high-tech exports support nearly 1.2 million American jobs, and if exports decline it is safe to say that jobs will be lost as well,” Hansen added.

Between 2007 and 2008, 36 states saw growth in technology exports. The leading states were California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Massachusetts, while the largest year-over-year gains were in Oregon, Florida, Utah, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania. The largest decrease was in Arizona, Colorado and California.

While California continued to lead the U.S. in high-tech exports ($49.3 billion in 2007), it was also the state hit the hardest by trade declines, as tech trade exports fell $3 billion between 2007 and 2008. California led the U.S. in six of eight export categories.

“Over a third of the Golden State’s total exports are technology goods. Tech exports support 233,000 jobs in California,” said TechAmerica’s David Thomas.

The largest tech-export markets for U.S. goods in 2008 were the European Union ($46.7 billion), Canada ($28.9 billion), Mexico ($27.7 billion), China ($15.7 billion), Japan ($11.6 billion), and Singapore ($9.6 billion)

By Mark Alvarez