California is one of the world’s largest economies, fueled by trade and exports that support nearly 5.1 million jobs in the state. Last year, California exported $185.6 billion worth of goods, led by the state’s thriving computer and technology manufacturing industry. But it isn’t just big business that benefits - 95% of all California exporters are small and medium sized businesses.

Job Creation

  • In California, 5,082,600 jobs were supported by international trade in 2019, representing 20.7% of all jobs in the state.1,2
  • In 2020, 63,416 companies exported goods from California of which 95% were small- and medium-sized enterprises. In 2018, 843,600 people were employed by affiliates of companies at least 50% foreign-owned.3,4

Exports and Growth

  • California exported $175.1 billion in goods to foreign markets in 2021, a 12% increase compared to 2020 driven by continued economic recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy.5
    • Mexico ($30.8 billion)
    • Canada ($20.1 billion)
    • China ($18.2 billion)
    • Japan ($11.6 billion)
    • South Korea ($11.6 billion)
  • Agricultural exports are important to California's' economy, totaling 24.3 billion in 2020, according to the USDA.6
  • Since 2014, the U.S. Export-Import Bank has financed $13 billion in exports from 652 companies in California.7
  • Since 1992, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency has helped facilitate $3 billion in exports from California companies.9

Education and Research

  • During 2020, 134,043 international students were enrolled in California colleges and universities and contributed $5.4 billion to the California economy.10

Global Engagement

  • Since 1961, 31,723 Peace Corps volunteers from California have served in dozens of countries overseas.11