Global Competitiveness of Export Industries and Clusters in the Appalachian Region

For the Appalachian Regional Commission, the study team analyzed prospects and trends for major industry groups that have been the largest sources of the region's international exports. 

These industry groups are the key basis for inflow of income to the region from outside of the US, and they have located and grown as clusters within the region. The key industry groups are: food-processing machinery, auto parts, electronic components, packaging machinery, wood furniture, upholstered furniture, and educational services.

EDR Group was responsible for the detailed analysis of industry trends, prospects and transportation patterns. This included analysis of regional export trends in dollar volume, growth rates, import/domestic competition, and industry specialization. The study also examined the unique issues of services exports, with a detailed case study of educational services in the Appalachian Region.

In addition, EDR Group assessed export needs by transportation modes, and commodity flows by trade corridors (airport, seaport, highway, rail, and intermodal hubs) used by regional companies for current export and import activity. Finally, the report analyzes the impact of existing trade agreements and likely impacts of future trade liberalization agreements on the trade competitiveness and export potential of major industry groups.