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

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

In 2013 tens of thousands of jobs were supported by Wisconsin exports. Wisconsin is the second-largest exporter of dairy in the United States. In 2012, Wisconsin exported $724 million worth of dairy products – 14% of all U.S. total dairy exports. Trade is a key driver of Wisconsin’s economy, and President Obama’s two highest trade priorities, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, will give Wisconsin and the United States enhanced access to four out of Wisconsin’s largest five export markets – Canada, Mexico, Japan, and the European Union.

Exports Support Jobs in Wisconsin and Across the United States

  • Tens of thousands of jobs were supported by Wisconsin exports in 2013.
  • In 2011 (latest year available), one-fifth (20.2 %) of all manufacturing workers in Wisconsin depended on exports for their jobs.
  • In 2013, Wisconsin goods exports were $23.1 billion, an increase of 101 %, or $11.6 billion, from its export level in 2003.
  • Total exports from Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin Businesses

  • A total of 8,581 companies exported from Wisconsin locations in 2012. Of those, 7,479 (87.2 %) were small and medium sized enterprises with fewer than 500 employees.
  • Small and medium-sized firms generated over one-quarter (27.7 %) of Wisconsin's total exports of merchandise in 2012.

Wisconsin Depends on World Markets

  • Wisconsin’s export shipments of merchandise in 2013 totaled $23.1 billion.
  • The state’s largest market was Canada. Wisconsin posted merchandise exports of $7.5 billion to Canada in 2013, representing 33% of Wisconsin’s total merchandise exports.
  • Canada was followed by Mexico ($2.5 billion), China ($1.7 billion), Japan ($934 million), and the European Union.
  • Wisconsin’s exports to our 20 existing trade agreement partners cover 55% of Wisconsin’s overall exports ($12.7 billion).
  • The state's largest manufacturing export category is machinery, except electrical machinery, which accounted for $6.4 billion of Wisconsin's total merchandise exports in 2013.
  • Other top manufacturing exports are computer and electronic products ($2.9 billion), transportation equipment ($2.2 billion), processed foods ($1.9 billion), and chemicals ($1.7 billion).
  • Wisconsin is the country’s 17th largest agricultural exporting state, shipping $3.3 billion in agricultural exports abroad in 2012 (latest data available according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture) It is the second largest state exporter of dairy products ($724 million), the 14th largest exporter of soybeans ($549 million), and the ninth largest exporter of corn ($300 million), and feeds and fodders ($189 million).

Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin’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 Wisconsinite workers, farmers and ranchers, and businesses to sell more Made-in-America exports to Wisconsin’s main customers.
  • 56% of Wisconsin’s exports ($12.9 billion) already go to TPP countries.
  • 16% of Wisconsin’s exports ($3.6 billion) already go to T-TIP countries.

International Investment Creates Jobs in Wisconsin

  • In 2011 (latest year available), foreign-controlled companies employed 86,000 Wisconsin workers. Major sources of foreign investment in Wisconsin in 2011 included Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Switzerland.
  • Foreign investment in Wisconsin was responsible for 3.7 % of the state's total private-industry employment in 2011.

Wisconsin’s Major Metropolitan Areas Benefit from Exporting

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

  • Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis ($9.2 billion)
  • Madison ($2.2 billion)
  • Oshkosh-Neenah ($1.5 billion)
  • Racine ($1.5 billion)
  • Green Bay ($1.0 billion)
  • Appleton ($972 million)
  • Janesville ($923 million)
  • Eau Claire ($772 million)
  • La Crosse ($695 million, portions of this MSA are shared with one or more other states)
  • Sheboygan ($611 million)