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Minnesota Trade Facts

  • In 2018, Minnesota exported a record $22.7 billion of Made-in-America goods to the world. In 2016, exports from Minnesota supported an estimated 118 thousand jobs

Exports from Minnesota and Jobs

  • Minnesota was the 20th largest state exporter of goods in 2018.
  • In 2018, Minnesota goods exports were $22.7 billion, an increase of 18 percent ($3.5 billion) from its export level in 2008.
  • Goods exports accounted for 6.2 percent of Minnesota GDP in 2018.
  • Minnesota goods exports in 2016 (latest year available) supported an estimated 118 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 Minnesota and Jobs

  • In 2018, Minnesota exported $21.2 billion of manufactured products.
  • Minnesota exports of manufactured products supported an estimated 89 thousand jobs in 2016.
  • The state's largest manufacturing export category is computer & electronic products, which accounted for $4.2 billion of Minnesota's total goods exports in 2018.
  • Other top manufacturing exports are machinery, except electrical ($3.7 billion), miscellaneous manufactured commodities ($2.3 billion), transportation equipment ($2.0 billion), and chemicals ($1.9 billion).

Exports Sustain Thousands of Minnesota Businesses many of which are SMEs

  • A total of 8,116 companies exported from Minnesota locations in 2016 (latest year available). Of those, 7,036 (87 percent) were small and medium sized enterprises with fewer than 500 employees.
  • Small and medium-sized firms generated 29.7 percent of Minnesota's total exports of goods in 2016.

Minnesota Depends on World Markets

  • The state’s largest market was Canada. Minnesota exported $4.8 billion in goods to Canada in 2018, representing 21 percent of the state’s total goods exports.
  • Canada was followed by Mexico ($2.3 billion), China ($2.3 billion), Japan ($1.5 billion), and Germany ($1.1 billion).
  • Minnesota’s exports (2018 value) to major world areas included:


2018 Value


$15.8 billion


$8.6 billion

European Union

$4.6 billion

South/Central America and Caribbean

$1.1 billion

Sub-Saharan Africa

$128 million

  • 44 percent of Minnesota’s exports ($10.1 billion) go to current FTA partners. 

Agriculture in Minnesota depends on Exports

  • Minnesota is the country’s 5th largest agricultural exporting state, shipping $6.9 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


$1.8 billion



$866 million



$804 million


feeds and other feed grains

$686 million


other plant products

$476 million



International Investment Creates Jobs in Minnesota

  • In 2015 (latest data available), foreign-controlled companies employed 119,700 Minnesota workers. Major sources of foreign investment in Minnesota included Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany.
  • Foreign investment in Minnesota was responsible for 4.5 percent of the state's total private-industry employment in 2015.

Minnesota’s Major Metropolitan Areas Benefit from Exporting

  • In 2017 (latest data available), the following metropolitan areas in Minnesota recorded goods exports: Minneapolis ($19.1 billion), Duluth ($852.9 million), Fargo ($519.5 million), Rochester ($495.3 million), St. Cloud ($292.6 million), Mankato-North Mankato ($238.5 million), Grand Forks ($181.2 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.