According to the Oregon Business Plan, “Traded sector companies are those that ring up sales outside of Oregon, bringing in fresh dollars that support families, local businesses, and government services – essentially companies who export their products and services to other U.S. states and other countries around the globe. These companies are particularly important because they create new wealth rather than just recirculating the wealth that is already here… by selling products and services to customers outside of Oregon, the traded sector brings in fresh dollars that can then be re-circulated in the local economy.”
Business Oregon, the state’s economic development agency, has programs that focus on traded sector companies, such as export assistance funding, tax abatement programs, and business financing. The state focuses its economic development strategies around traded sector businesses in an effort to maximize return for state investment and generate global trade activity which brings new dollars into the Oregon economy.
Traded sectors in the Oregon Business Plan are “clusters” (shown below) that “…draw competitive advantages from their proximity to competitors, to a skilled workforce, to specialized suppliers, and to a shared base of sophisticated knowledge about their industry.”
According to the 10-Year Plan for Oregon, although traded sector “…employers account for only about one-third of Oregon’s jobs, they have a huge ripple effect on the businesses that sell goods and services inside Oregon.” The 10-Year Plan states that “By identifying Oregon’s key traded sector industries and paying special attention to their needs, policy makers have a way of thinking about how to grow Oregon’s economy and create more high-paying jobs.” That’s one of the reasons why the term “traded sectors” is used so often in the context of Sector Strategies and economic development, and why it’s important to know what it means.