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Eastman 'anxious' to see outcome of pending trade agreements

Staff Report • Jul 5, 2011 at 8:24 AM

According a report in the Tennessean Eastman Chemical Co. is anxious to see pending trade agreements will be passed.Eastman makes more money from exports to South Korea ($120 million in 2010) than any other Tennessee company and $1.4 million to Columbia. Trade agreements would cut the cost of Eastman's products, allow it to better compete with companies in countries that have ratified trade agreements with South Korea and Columbia, according to a statement from Eastman spokesperson Wanda Valentine.Eastman isn't the only exporter in Sullivan County that could have a state in trade agreements. According to the Business and Economic Research Center at MTSU there are 36 exporters based in Sullivan County and 40 in Washington Co. Where those exports are located are explored in a BERC report entitled Where Are Tennessee Exporters Located. The article points out that most exporters are located in the state's major metropolitan areas. The raw count of exporters by county is rather predictable, with the most populous counties having the most exporters. However, even here there are a few surprises, such as the overachieving Hamilton County, which vies with much bigger Shelby for the most exporting establishments. The findings are similar if one examines the percentage of the workforce that is in the export sector. Here Rutherford and Sullivan counties punch above their weight, but the pattern of "the larger the county, the larger the export sector" still holds.

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