Michigan Trade Facts

  • In 2018, Michigan exported $58.0 billion of Made-in-America goods to the world.  In 2016, exports from Michigan supported an estimated 271 thousand jobs.

Exports from Michigan and Jobs

  • Michigan was the 7th largest state exporter of goods in 2018.
  • In 2018, Michigan goods exports were $58.0 billion, an increase of 29 percent ($13 billion) from its export level in 2008.
  • Goods exports accounted for 11.0 percent of Michigan GDP in 2018.
  • Michigan goods exports in 2016 (latest year available) supported an estimated 271 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 Michigan and Jobs

  • In 2018, Michigan exported $55.4 billion of manufactured products.
  • Michigan exports of manufactured products supported an estimated 257 thousand jobs in 2016.
  • The state's largest manufacturing export category is transportation equipment, which accounted for $28.2 billion of Michigan's total goods exports in 2018.
  • Other top manufacturing exports are chemicals ($5.3 billion), machinery, except electrical ($4.9 billion), computer & electronic products ($3.1 billion), and electrical equipment, appliances & components ($2.5 billion).

Exports Sustain Thousands of Michigan Businesses many of which are SMEs

  • A total of 14,446 companies exported from Michigan locations in 2016 (latest year available). Of those, 12,873 (89 percent) were small and medium sized enterprises with fewer than 500 employees.
  • Small and medium-sized firms generated 23.8 percent of Michigan's total exports of goods in 2016.

Michigan Depends on World Markets

  • The state’s largest market was Canada. Michigan exported $23.9 billion in goods to Canada in 2018, representing 41 percent of the state’s total goods exports.
  • Canada was followed by Mexico ($12.3 billion), China ($3.6 billion), Germany ($2.0 billion), and Japan ($1.4 billion).
  • Michigan’s exports (2018 value) to major world areas included:


2018 Value


$45.9 billion


$10.3 billion

European Union

$7.3 billion

South/Central America and Caribbean

$2.3 billion

Sub-Saharan Africa

$326 million

  • 68 percent of Michigan’s exports ($39.6 billion) go to current FTA partners. 

Agriculture in Michigan depends on Exports

  • Michigan is the country’s 19th largest agricultural exporting state, shipping $2.7 billion in domestic agricultural exports abroad in 2017 (latest data available according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture).1

  • Top Agricultural exports (2017 Value) were:


2017 Value

 2017 State Rank

other plant products

$563 million



$491 million


dairy products

$261 million



$191 million


feeds and other feed grains

$164 million



International Investment Creates Jobs in Michigan

  • In 2015 (latest data available), foreign-controlled companies employed 250,300 Michigan workers. Major sources of foreign investment in Michigan included Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom.
  • Foreign investment in Michigan was responsible for 6.5 percent of the state's total private-industry employment in 2015.

Michigan’s Major Metropolitan Areas Benefit from Exporting

  • In 2017 (latest data available), the following metropolitan areas in Michigan recorded goods exports: Detroit ($45.5 billion), Grand Rapids ($5.4 billion), Midland ($2.7 billion), Ann Arbor ($1.4 billion), Saginaw ($1.4 billion), South Bend ($1.3 billion), Lansing ($1.1 billion), Kalamazoo ($1.1 billion), Battle Creek ($998.6 million), Muskegon ($978 million), Monroe ($561.6 million), Flint ($535.4 million), Jackson ($441.7 million), Niles ($383.3 million), Bay City ($253.4 million).


1Estimates 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.