Massachusetts exports rise in 2013

Massachusetts companies exported nearly $27 billion in merchandise last year, according to recent data from, which tracks international trade. Trade remains an important component of the state’s economy as key industries, such as technology and pharmaceuticals rely on overseas markets for growth.

With the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, marking its 20th anniversary this year, trade is again an issue. President Obama wants to complete a controversial free trade pact with Pacific Rim countries. The United States is also negotiating a trade agreement with the European Union to link two of the world’s biggest economies.