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Virginia Trade Facts​

  • In 2018, Virginia exported $18.4 billion of Made-in-America goods to the world. In 2016, exports from Virginia supported an estimated 78 thousand jobs.

Exports from Virginia and Jobs

  • Virginia was the 24th largest state exporter of goods in 2018.
  • In 2018, Virginia goods exports were $18.4 billion, a decrease of 3 percent ($589 million) from its export level in 2008.
  • Goods exports accounted for 3.4 percent of Virginia GDP in 2018.
  • Virginia goods exports in 2016 (latest year available) supported an estimated 78 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 Virginia and Jobs

  • In 2018, Virginia exported $15.2 billion of manufactured products.
  • Virginia exports of manufactured products supported an estimated 71 thousand jobs in 2016.
  • The state's largest manufacturing export category is chemicals, which accounted for $2.6 billion of Virginia's total goods exports in 2018.
  • Other top manufacturing exports are computer & electronic products ($2.5 billion), transportation equipment ($2.4 billion), machinery, except electrical ($1.3 billion), and food & kindred products ($1.3 billion).

Exports Sustain Thousands of Virginia Businesses many of which are SMEs

  • A total of 7,250 companies exported from Virginia locations in 2016 (latest year available). Of those, 6,127 (85 percent) were small and medium sized enterprises with fewer than 500 employees.
  • Small and medium-sized firms generated 29.7 percent of Virginia's total exports of goods in 2016.

Virginia Depends on World Markets

  • The state’s largest market was Canada. Virginia exported $3.2 billion in goods to Canada in 2018, representing 17 percent of the state’s total goods exports.
  • Canada was followed by China ($1.2 billion), Mexico ($1.1 billion), United Kingdom ($1.1 billion), and Germany ($1.1 billion).

  • Virginia’s exports (2018  value) to major world areas included:


2018 Value


$9.1 billion


$5.5 billion

European Union

$5.1 billion

South/Central America and Caribbean

$1.8 billion

Sub-Saharan Africa

$299 million

  • 37 percent of Virginia’s exports ($6.8 billion) go to current FTA partners.   

Agriculture in Virginia depends on Exports

  • Virginia is the country’s 33rd largest agricultural exporting state, shipping $1.0 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

$179 million



$116 million


other livestock products

$96 million


broiler meat

$91 million



$80 million



International Investment Creates Jobs in Virginia

  • In 2015 (latest data available), foreign-controlled companies employed 187,200 Virginia workers. Major sources of foreign investment in Virginia included the United Kingdom, Germany and France.
  • Foreign investment in Virginia was responsible for 5.8 percent of the state's total private-industry employment in 2015.

Virginia’s Major Metropolitan Areas Benefit from Exporting

  • In 2017 (latest data available), the following metropolitan areas in Virginia recorded goods exports: Washington ($12.7 billion), Kingsport ($4.7 billion), Richmond ($3.7 billion), Virginia Beach ($3.3 billion), Blacksburg ($804.4 million), Roanoke ($616.2 million), Lynchburg ($464 million), Harrisonburg ($427.8 million), Staunton-Waynesboro ($306.9 million), Winchester ($279.8 million), Charlottesville ($203.5 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.