The administration has inserted a wedge between the large metropolitan areas known for top-notch services and the small and mid-sized metros focused on manufacturing.

Shifting patterns in how American companies sell to the world are opening a new line of conflict between the Trump administration and the nation’s largest metropolitan areas.

An important study released last week by the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program found that the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas are diverging from their small and mid-sized counterparts in what they export to other nations.

Those small-to-medium-sized localities still rely predominantly on exports of manufactured goods and commodities, such as fossil fuels or agricultural products. By contrast, the biggest metropolitan areas increasingly are exporting services—such as financial, management, and engineering expertise—and attracting foreign dollars for education and medical treatment.

Services now account for nearly half of all exports from the 100 largest metros, up to 47 percent from 40 percent in 2008, Brookings found. Meanwhile, the 281 other metros still rely on goods for fully 80 percent of what they sell abroad.

Read the full story by The Atlantic