The U.S. trade deficit hit nearly $1 trillion in 2022, as America imported some $948.1 billion more than it exported. This $103 billion increase on the previous year’s deficit came as the U.S. and its partners sought to restructure and redefine global supply chains following pandemic disruption and trade barriers with China — with whom the U.S. has a $382.9 billion trade deficit.
But the U.S. was still the world’s second-largest exporter. America exported some $2.1 trillion last year, accounting for 8.4% of global exports. U.S. agriculture exports alone accounted for $213 billion, a true American success story.
In a moment of rapid geo-political change, it pays to keep an eye on the comings and goings of American products — and to stay abreast of who the country’s best customers are. So, following our guide to Every State’s Top Import and Export, we plunged into the latest data on product exports by state in 2022 from the U.S. International Trade Administration to identify the biggest export destinations for products from every U.S. state.
- Exports from Texas to Mexico have an annual value of $144.29 billion — the highest value of exports from a U.S. state to any other country.
- Texas exports $33.63 billion in Petroleum & Coal Products to Mexico yearly — the highest value of any single product category from a state to another country.
- Canada imports $15.37 billion in Transportation Equipment from Michigan each year, more than any product category from any other state.
- Australia imports $4.56 billion in goods from Illinois each year, more than from any other U.S. state.
Texas-Mexico Exports Are America’s Strongest State-to-Country Trade
Our first two maps reveal the country to which each state exports the highest value exports and then the states from which each country receives the highest value exports.
Some 34 states ship to Canada more than any other country, while six states have Mexico as their biggest customer. Looked at the other way around, 94 countries count Texas as their chief supplier in the U.S., followed by California (25) and Florida (24). In 2022, New York State was the largest source of U.S. imports for 13 countries, including Switzerland, Hong Kong and Israel.
Mexico overtook China as America’s top trade partner at the start of 2023, with $263 billion in bilateral trade between the countries between January and April. Texas’s exports to Mexico are the highest-value exports to a particular country from any state. In 2022, they equaled $144.29 billion. Some $33.63 billion of this is from Petroleum & Coal Products, the highest value product exported from any state to any one country (see Michigan’s Transportation Equipment Exports… below).
The shared border between Texas and Mexico is both a boon and an obstacle for this relationship. The trade supports upwards of seven million jobs in the region and accounts for around 80% of Texan auto parts exports; however, border delays reduced U.S. GDP by around $996.3 million and Texas GDP by around $470.3 million each day in 2022, according to Perryman Group estimates.
Texas is the leading U.S. exporter to major global economies, including Canada, China, the U.K. and Germany. New York State’s exports to Switzerland reached $23.56 billion in 2022. Over three-quarters of this trade is in the category of Primary Metal Manufactures, which includes “upstream metal products such as closures, castings, pipes, tubes, wires and springs.”
Hong Kong also counts New York as the state from which it imports the most. America enjoys a larger trade surplus with Hong Kong than with any other country, and Hong Kong maintains one of its three Economic and Trade Offices in New York City.
Michigan’s Transportation Equipment Exports to Canada Among Top U.S. Product Exports
Next, we looked at the product categories each state exports worldwide to reveal the highest-value product type each state exports to a particular country and the product that each country imports at the highest rate from any one state.
Among the states with the highest single-product value export to a particular country are Michigan, which exports $15.36 billion in Transportation Equipment to Canada yearly, and Louisiana, whose best customer for Agricultural Products is China, at $11.3 billion/year.
Contrary to America’s massive trade deficit with China, Louisiana is the leading trader of eight states that maintain an annual surplus with the Asian giant. The state achieved a record global surplus of $85.1 billion in 2022, with China its greatest customer. Despite new tariffs on soybeans, Louisiana’s third top export, the Louisiana-China trade remains strong.
In fact, Louisiana is America’s top state for goods exports when measured by export share of state GDP. Louisiana is also the leading exporter to 17 countries in the above map, including Poland, Egypt and Kuwait. However, Texas is the leading exporter to 75 countries, the most of any state (it is also the second top state by export share of state GDP).
“With its unique combination of strategic location, the largest U.S. rail and road infrastructure, the most U.S. ports of entry, a multilingual workforce twice the national average, a vibrant international banking center, a diplomatic hub with Consular Corps representing about 90 nations, as well as a concentration of corporate and financial resources, Texas is a global trade powerhouse,” explains the Texas Economic Development & Tourism office. “[E]xport trade in Texas is driven by its innovative, nimble and oftentimes small firms. In fact, nearly 93% of all Texas exporters are small businesses.”
Forge Local Relationships to Strengthen Global Trade Profile
As the ongoing success story of Texan exports demonstrates, success in international trade benefits from flexing regional strengths, a motivated local workforce and a strong general infrastructure. These are examples from which small businesses and state agencies around the country can learn.
You can find our full data on how each state is faring around the world in the interactive table below.
It is also essential to stay on top of export trends. For example, while the “U.S.-China trade war caused deep damage to many American farmers and their livelihoods,” according to Yahoo! Finance, both countries continue in their attempt to scale down their mutual reliance. And yet, as FWDBONDS Chief Economist Chris Rupkey puts it, the “current trade flows are so large that neither country can decouple from the other without suffering severe economic consequences.”
Meanwhile, there are trends in particular product categories to consider. America’s third-largest corn crop ever is a mixed blessing for farmers in Illinois and elsewhere, and oil production is also nearing all-time highs amidst a turbulent global market.
For small businesses, changes in the pricing, supply chains and international relationships require foresight and flexibility. But they can also benefit from acting locally: building strong networks with neighboring small businesses, maintaining a voice in state industry associations and connecting with local and national advisors.
METHODOLOGY & SOURCES
To determine the highest value of international exports by state, we analyzed data on product exports by state in 2022 from the U.S. International Trade Administration.
We isolated the top U.S. state that exports to each country, the highest value product that is exported to each country from a particular U.S. state, the country that receives the highest value product exports from each U.S. state and the country that receives the highest value export of a particular product from each U.S. state. The value of exports from each U.S. state is rounded to the nearest million U.S. dollars, or to ‘$500,000 dollars or less’.
Within the two-digit NAICS product classifications of Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting, Manufacturing and Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction, we also isolated the top country that each U.S. state exports each of the 29 available products to and what the value of those exports were in a single year.
The data for this project is correct as of October 2023.
This content is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended as financial, investment or legal advice.