The information and communications technology (ICT) industries are a vital part of the American economy, employing 4.2 million U.S. workers in 2012. Every sector of the economy relies on ICT hardware, software and services to some degree. In addition, over 70 percent of ICT spending occurs outside of the United States. Access to global markets enables American ICT companies to make substantial investments in research, capital spending, and worker training in the United States; increase productivity across sectors by developing innovative products and processes; and generate new ideas, firms, and jobs that maintain the pre-eminence of the U.S. ICT industries. Thus, growth of ICT exports is an essential element in the success of efforts to expand business opportunities for American workers and employers generally.
In 2012, U.S. ICT exports exceeded $270 billion, or more than $1 out of every $8 in total U.S. exports. They include $201 billion of domestically manufactured goods like Intel or Micron semiconductors; $72 billion of ICT services such as consulting services provided by companies like IBM and Xerox; data and computer processing services like those provided by EMC; and royalties collected by U.S. companies for software purchased by customers around the world.
This study explores the importance of ICT exports to states and congressional districts across the United States. All 50 states and 435 congressional districts – plus the District of Columbia – export ICT hardware, software and services. The foreign markets are many, and varied.