Michigan’s preeminence in manufacturing and industrial research & development make it the ideal home for export-based industries, and its strategic location offers easy access to Asian, European, and North and South American markets. Overall, Michigan exported over $57 billion worth of goods in 2018, with international trade supporting more than 1.1 million good-paying Michigan jobs.

Job Creation

  • In Michigan, 1,114,900 jobs were supported by international trade in 2017, representing 19.7% of all jobs in the state.1,2
  • In 2016, 14,446 companies exported goods from Michigan of which 89% were small- and medium-sized enterprises. In 2016, 250,300 people were employed by affiliates of companies at least 50% foreign-owned.2,3

Exports and Growth

  • Michigan exported $57.9 billion in goods to foreign markets in 2018. Michigan's largest markets in 2018 were:4
    • Canada ($23.8 billion)
    • Mexico ($12.3 billion)
    • China ($3.6 billion)
    • Germany ($2 billion)
    • Japan ($1.4 billion)
  • Agricultural exports are important to Michigan's' economy, totaling $2.7 billion in 2017, according to the USDA.5
  • Since 2014, the U.S. Export-Import Bank has financed $3 billion in exports from 133 companies in Michigan.6
  • Since 1971, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation has invested $1.7 billion in Michigan companies for overseas investment.7
  • Since 1992, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency has helped facilitate $117 million in exports from Michigan companies, supporting an estimated 650 jobs in the state.8

Education and Research

  • In 2016-2017, 11,533 Michigan students studied abroad.9
  • During 2018, 34,049 international students were enrolled in Michigan colleges and universities and contributed $1.2 billion to the Michigan economy.9

Global Engagement

  • Since 1961, 7,743 Peace Corps volunteers from Michigan have served in dozens of countries overseas.10