Wisconsin Trade Facts​

  • In 2018, Wisconsin exported $22.7 billion of Made-in-America goods to the world. In 2016, exports from Wisconsin supported an estimated 111 thousand jobs.

Exports from Wisconsin and Jobs

  • Wisconsin was the 19th largest state exporter of goods in 2018.
  • In 2018, Wisconsin goods exports were $22.7 billion, an increase of 10 percent ($2.2 billion) from its export level in 2008.
  • Goods exports accounted for 6.7 percent of Wisconsin GDP in 2018.
  • Wisconsin goods exports in 2016 (latest year available) supported an estimated 111 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 Wisconsin and Jobs

  • In 2018, Wisconsin exported $21.3 billion of manufactured products.
  • Wisconsin exports of manufactured products supported an estimated 103 thousand jobs in 2016.
  • The state's largest manufacturing export category is machinery, except electrical, which accounted for $4.7 billion of Wisconsin's total goods exports in 2018.
  • Other top manufacturing exports are computer & electronic products ($2.8 billion), transportation equipment ($2.3 billion), food & kindred products ($2.1 billion), and chemicals ($2.0 billion).

Exports Sustain Thousands of Wisconsin Businesses many of which are SMEs

  • A total of 8,485 companies exported from Wisconsin locations in 2016 (latest year available). Of those, 7,337 (87 percent) were small and medium sized enterprises with fewer than 500 employees.
  • Small and medium-sized firms generated 26.8 percent of Wisconsin's total exports of goods in 2016.

Wisconsin Depends on World Markets

  • The state’s largest market was Canada. Wisconsin exported $7.0 billion in goods to Canada in 2018, representing 31 percent of the state’s total goods exports.
  • Canada was followed by Mexico ($3.5 billion), China ($1.6 billion), Germany ($814 million), and United Kingdom ($792 million).
  • Wisconsin’s exports (2018 value) to major world areas included:


2018 Value


$16.0 billion


$5.3 billion

European Union

$4.2 billion

South/Central America and Caribbean

$1.4 billion

Sub-Saharan Africa

$198 million

  • 56 percent of Wisconsin’s exports ($12.8 billion) go to current FTA partners. 

Agriculture in Wisconsin depends on Exports

  • Wisconsin is the country’s 17th largest agricultural exporting state, shipping $2.9 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

dairy products

$772 million



$482 million



$265 million


feeds and other feed grains

$220 million


other plant products

$211 million



International Investment Creates Jobs in Wisconsin

  • In 2015 (latest data available), foreign-controlled companies employed 98,600 Wisconsin workers. Major sources of foreign investment in Wisconsin included the United Kingdom, Canada and Germany.
  • Foreign investment in Wisconsin was responsible for 3.8 percent of the state's total private-industry employment in 2015.

Wisconsin’s Major Metropolitan Areas Benefit from Exporting

  • In 2017 (latest data available), the following metropolitan areas in Wisconsin recorded goods exports: Minneapolis ($19.1 billion), Milwaukee ($7.3 billion), Madison ($2.2 billion), Oshkosh ($1.7 billion), Racine ($1.3 billion), Appleton ($1.1 billion), Green Bay ($1.1 billion), Janesville ($1 billion), Duluth ($852.9 million), Sheboygan ($714.1 million), Eau Claire ($670.3 million), Fond du Lac ($667.4 million), La Crosse ($537.4 million), Wausau ($301.1 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.