Alabama's international engagement fuels job growth and increases exports. Alabama companies exported over $21 billion in goods last year, which helped support more than 530,000 jobs in the state. The majority of companies that export from Alabama are small and medium sized businesses.

Job Creation

  • In Alabama, 532,200 jobs were supported by international trade in 2017, representing 20.1% of all jobs in the state.1,2
  • In 2016, 4,095 companies exported goods from Alabama of which 80% were small- and medium-sized enterprises. In 2016, 109,100 people were employed by affiliates of companies at least 50% foreign-owned.2,3

Exports and Growth

  • Alabama exported $21.3 billion in goods to foreign markets in 2018. Alabama's largest markets in 2018 were:4
    • Canada ($4.1 billion)
    • China ($3 billion)
    • Mexico ($2.6 billion)
    • Germany ($2.6 billion)
    • Japan ($821 million)
  • Agricultural exports are important to Alabama's' economy, totaling $1.3 billion in 2017, according to the USDA.5
  • Since 2014, the U.S. Export-Import Bank has financed $283 million in exports from 47 companies in Alabama.6
  • Since 1971, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation has invested $197 million in Alabama companies for overseas investment.7
  • Since 1992, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency has helped facilitate $108 million in exports from Alabama companies, supporting an estimated 600 jobs in the state.8

Education and Research

  • In 2016-2017, 3,795 Alabama students studied abroad.9
  • During 2018, 9,300 international students were enrolled in Alabama colleges and universities and contributed $288 million to the Alabama economy.9

Global Engagement

  • Since 1961, 1,253 Peace Corps volunteers from Alabama have served in dozens of countries overseas.10