Katz's recent work, a report titled Export Nation 2012, examines the role that exports sectors in US metro areas play in the new global economy. Regions like Los Angeles hold vital positions in a country that does not properly value its export industries, Katz argues, and metro areas should take steps to establish positions in an increasingly urban global economy.
Katz points to a necessary shift in the United States' economic growth model from consumption and debt, pre-recession, to exports and global engagement in the future. And "With domestic demand crippled at home because of the housing collapse, because of the overhang of the recession, and because of global demand rising, we think it's time for cities and metros to reconsider their own economic development strategies by focusing on those firms, both in manufacturing and services, that can sell abroad."
While the federal government is "the big player on trade" when it comes to regulation, finance, and infrastructure, Katz believes cities need to become much more active in developing export strategies and making direct connections with trade partners.
"I would say over the next decade and onwards, being globally fluent and understanding your special position in the world and acting on that position through these sharp networks of trading cities will almost be a prerequisite for city and metropolitan success."
Thanks to Kevin Madden