Alabama Trade Facts

  • In 2018, Alabama exported $21.4 billion of Made-in-America goods to the world. In 2016, exports from Alabama supported an estimated 98 thousand jobs.

Exports from Alabama and Jobs

  • Alabama was the 23rd largest state exporter of goods in 2018.
  • In 2018, Alabama goods exports were $21.4 billion, an increase of 35 percent ($5.5 billion) from its export level in 2008.
  • Goods exports accounted for 9.7 percent of Alabama GDP in 2018.
  • Alabama goods exports in 2016 (latest year available) supported an estimated 98 thousand jobs. Nationally, jobs supported by goods exports pay up to an estimated 18 percent above the national average

Made-in-America Manufacturing Exports from Alabama and Jobs

  • In 2018, Alabama exported $19.2 billion of manufactured products.
  • Alabama exports of manufactured products supported an estimated 92 thousand jobs in 2016.
  • The state's largest manufacturing export category is transportation equipment, which accounted for $10.0 billion of Alabama's total goods exports in 2018.
  • Other top manufacturing exports are chemicals ($2.5 billion), primary metal manufacturing ($1.6 billion), paper ($1.2 billion), and machinery, except electrical ($777 million).

Exports Sustain Thousands of Alabama Businesses many of which are SMEs

  • A total of 4,095 companies exported from Alabama locations in 2016 (latest year available). Of those, 3,293 (80 percent) were small and medium sized enterprises with fewer than 500 employees.
  • Small and medium-sized firms generated 15.8 percent of Alabama's total exports of goods in 2016.

Alabama Depends on World Markets

  • The state’s largest market was Canada. Alabama exported $4.1 billion in goods to Canada in 2018, representing 19 percent of the state’s total goods exports.
  • Canada was followed by China ($3.0 billion), Mexico ($2.6 billion), Germany ($2.5 billion), and Japan ($832 million).
  • Alabama’s exports (2018 Values) to major world areas included:


2018 Value


$12.3 billion


$6.5 billion

European Union

$5.2 billion

South/Central America and Caribbean

$2.2 billion

Sub-Saharan Africa

$157 million

  • 40 percent of Alabama’s exports ($8.6 billion) go to current FTA partners.  

Agriculture in Alabama depends on Exports

  • Alabama is the country’s 31st largest agricultural exporting state, shipping $1.3 billion in domestic agricultural exports abroad in 2017 (latest data available according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture).[1]

  • [1] Estimates of state exports of agricultural products by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture and goods exports by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce are based on different methodologies and are not directly comparable.

  • Top Agricultural exports (2017 Values) were:


2017 Value

 2017 State Rank

broiler meat

$347 million



$209 million


other plant products

$182 million


other oilseeds and products

$118 million



$76 million



International Investment Creates Jobs in Alabama

  • In 2015 (latest data available), foreign-controlled companies employed 109,100 Alabama workers. Major sources of foreign investment in Alabama included Japan, the United Kingdom and Germany.
  • Foreign investment in Alabama was responsible for 6.1 percent of the state's total private-industry employment in 2015.

Alabama’s Major Metropolitan Areas Benefit from Exporting

  • In 2017 (latest data available), the following metropolitan areas in Alabama recorded goods exports: Birmingham ($2.1 billion), Huntsville ($1.9 billion), Mobile ($1.8 billion), Daphne-Fairhope-Foley ($1.8 billion), Montgomery ($1.1 billion), Columbus ($541 million), Decatur ($448.6 million), Anniston ($278.7 million), Florence ($271.5 million), Auburn ($271.2 million), Dothan ($223.4 million), Gadsden ($30.3 million).