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FACT SHEET: Minnesota Agriculture, Business and Jobs Supported by Exports

President Obama’s trade agenda will unlock opportunity for Minnesotan workers, farmers and ranchers, and businesses – strengthening the American middle class

In 2013 tens of thousands of jobs were supported by Minnesotan exports. Trade is a key driver of Minnesota’s economy, and President Obama’s two highest trade priorities, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, will give Minnesota and the United States enhanced access to four out of Minnesota’s largest five export markets – Canada, Mexico, Japan, and the European Union.  

Exports Support Jobs in Minnesota and Across the United States
  • Tens of thousands of jobs were supported by Minnesota exports in 2013.
  • In 2011 (latest year available), over one-fifth (22.4 %) of all manufacturing workers in Minnesota depended on exports for their jobs.
  • In 2013, Minnesota goods exports were $20.8 billion, an increase of 84 %, or $9.5 billion, from its export level in 2003.
  • Total exports from Minnesota helped contribute to the record-setting value of U.S. goods and services exports in 2013, which reached $2.3 trillion.
  • Nationally, jobs supported by exports reached more than 11 million in 2013, up 1.6 million since 2009.
  • Every billion dollars of U.S. exports of goods supported an estimated 5,400 jobs in 2013.
  • Jobs supported by goods exports pay an estimated 13% to 18% above the national average.

Exports Sustain Thousands of Minnesota Businesses

  • A total of 8,659 companies exported from Minnesota locations in 2012. Of those, 7,564 (87.4 %) were small and medium sized enterprises with fewer than 500 employees.
  • Small and medium-sized firms generated over one-third (32.7 %) of Minnesota's total exports of merchandise in 2012.

Minnesota Depends on World Markets

  • Minnesota’s export shipments of merchandise in 2013 totaled $20.8 billion.
  • The state’s largest market was Canada. Minnesota posted merchandise exports of $5.8 billion to Canada in 2013, representing 28% of Minnesota’s total merchandise exports.
  • Canada was followed by the European Union ($4.3 billion), China ($2.0 billion), Mexico ($1.5 billion), and Japan ($1.1 billion).
  • Minnesota’s exports to our 20 existing trade agreement partners cover 45% ($9.4 billion) of Minnesota’s overall exports.
  • The state's largest manufacturing export category is machinery, except electrical machinery, which accounted for $4.0 billion of Minnesota's total merchandise exports in 2013.
  • Other top manufacturing exports are optic and medical equipment ($3.3 billion), electrical machinery ($2.5 billion), transportation equipment ($2.0 billion), and plastic and plastic articles ($1.0 billion).
  • Minnesota is the country’s 4th largest agricultural exporting state, shipping $8.2 billion in agricultural exports abroad in 2012 (latest data available according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture) It is the third largest state exporter of soybeans ($2.2 billion), the 4th largest exporter of corn ($941 million), the second largest exporter of pork ($814 million), and the 4th largest exporter of feeds and fodders ($583 million).

Minnesota Will Benefit from President Obama’s Trade Agenda

  • President Obama’s top trade priorities are the negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership with the Asia-Pacific Region and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union – two state-of-the-art agreements that will unlock opportunity in the United States by fostering economic growth, supporting jobs, and bolstering our competitiveness.
  • Four out of Minnesota’s top five export markets will be covered by the Trans-Pacific Partnership (Canada, Mexico, and Japan), and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (Germany), making it easier for Minnesotan workers, farmers and ranchers, and businesses to sell more Made-in-America exports to Minnesota’s main customers.
  • 47% of Minnesota’s exports ($9.8 billion) already go to TPP countries.
  • 21% of Minnesota’s exports ($4.3 billion) already go to T-TIP countries.

International Investment Creates Jobs in Minnesota

  • In 2011 (latest year available), foreign-controlled companies employed 93,900 Minnesotan workers. Major sources of foreign investment in Minnesota in 2011 included Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France.
  • Foreign investment in Minnesota was responsible for 4.1 % of the state's total private-industry employment in 2011.

Minnesota’s Major Metropolitan Areas Benefit from Exporting

 In 2012, the following metropolitan areas in Minnesota recorded goods exports:

  • Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington ($25.2 billion), portions of this MSA are shared with one or more other states
  • Rochester ($1.0 billion)
  • Duluth ($533 million), portions of this MSA are shared with one or more other states
  • Mankato-North Mankato ($331 million)
  • St. Cloud ($312 million)