Tennessee exports a huge range of goods, from manufactured goods like automobiles and electronics to chemicals and its world-famous whiskey. In 2018, Tennessee exported a total of $33 billion worth of these goods, helping to support more than 800,000 jobs in the state. Over 80% of Tennessee companies that export their products are also small or medium sized businesses.

Job Creation

  • In Tennessee, 806,100 jobs were supported by international trade in 2017, representing 20.1% of all jobs in the state.1,2
  • In 2016, 6,961 companies exported goods from Tennessee of which 82% were small- and medium-sized enterprises. In 2016, 177,100 people were employed by affiliates of companies at least 50% foreign-owned.2,3

Exports and Growth

  • Tennessee exported $32.7 billion in goods to foreign markets in 2018. Tennessee's largest markets in 2018 were:4
    • Canada ($7.8 billion)
    • Mexico ($4.9 billion)
    • China ($2.5 billion)
    • Japan ($1.9 billion)
    • Netherlands ($1.4 billion)
  • Agricultural exports are important to Tennessee's' economy, totaling $1.5 billion in 2017, according to the USDA.5
  • Since 2014, the U.S. Export-Import Bank has financed $949 million in exports from 63 companies in Tennessee.6
  • Since 1971, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation has invested $124 million in Tennessee companies for overseas investment.7
  • Since 1992, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency has helped facilitate $19.6 million in exports from Tennessee companies, supporting an estimated 100 jobs in the state.8

Education and Research

  • In 2016-2017, 7,099 Tennessee students studied abroad.9
  • During 2018, 8,870 international students were enrolled in Tennessee colleges and universities and contributed $324 million to the Tennessee economy.9

Global Engagement

  • Since 1961, 1,973 Peace Corps volunteers from Tennessee have served in dozens of countries overseas.10