Kentucky trade

Wikimedia Commons

This week Kentucky’s labor cabinet announced that the state’s exports are up by 11 percent in 2015, but some are worried that in the long run, the strong U.S. dollar could squelch demand for Kentucky goods.  

There’s been a lot of good news for the Kentucky economy lately: the manufacturing sector added 1,100 jobs in April, Corvette announced an expansion of its factory in Bowling Green and and the unemployment rate fell to 5 percent, the lowest it’s been in 15 years.

But State Office of Employment and Training Economist Manoj Shanker warns that continued strength of the U.S. dollar makes it difficult for countries to afford Kentucky-made goods.

“So what’s helped us really, the reason we’re doing all these exports," Shanker says, "is because energy costs are low, which means the cost of making goods is lower in Kentucky and in the U.S. but what hurts us is that the dollar is strong so it’s more difficult to export.”

A delegation from Kentucky is working to expand its business relationship with the state’s number one trading partner. Gov. Steve Beshear, along with representatives from over 20 companies, meets this week with Canadian officials.

Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet Spokesman Daniel Lowry says even a strong trade relationship can grow stronger.