Tennessee exports a huge range of goods, from manufactured goods like automobiles and electronics to chemicals and its world-famous whiskey. In 2023, Tennessee exported over $38 billion worth of these goods, helping to support nearly 837,000 jobs in the state. 83% of Tennessee companies that export their products are also small or medium sized businesses.

Job Creation

  • In Tennessee, 836,700 jobs were supported by international trade in 2019, representing 19.9% of all jobs in the state.1,2
  • In 2020, 7,282 companies exported goods from Tennessee of which 83% were small- and medium-sized enterprises. In 2018, 202,300 people were employed by affiliates of companies at least 50% foreign-owned.3,4

Exports and Growth

  • Tennessee exported $34.7 billion in goods to foreign markets in 2021, a 23% increase compared to 2020 driven by continued economic recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy.5
    • Canada ($8.8 billion)
    • Mexico ($6.1 billion)
    • China ($3.0 billion)
    • Netherlands ($2.3 billion)
    • Japan ($2.1 billion)
  • Agricultural exports are important to Tennessee's' economy, totaling $122 billion in 2020, according to the USDA.6
  • Since 2014, the U.S. Export-Import Bank has financed $2 billion in exports from 68 companies in Tennessee.7
  • Since 1992, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency has helped facilitate $24 million in exports from Tennessee companies.9

Education and Research

  • During 2020, 9,206 international students were enrolled in Tennessee colleges and universities and contributed $333 million to the Tennessee economy.10

Global Engagement

  • Since 1961, 1,973 Peace Corps volunteers from Tennessee have served in dozens of countries overseas.11