Tennessee exports a huge range of goods, from manufactured goods like automobiles and electronics to chemicals and its world-famous whiskey. In 2017, Tennessee exported a total of $33 billion worth of these goods, helping to support over 720,000 jobs in the state. Over 80 percent of Tennessee companies that export their products are also small or medium sized businesses.

Job Creation

  • In Tennessee, 728,800 jobs (18.5%) are supported by trade, including 146,976 jobs supported by manufactured goods exports in 2016.1
  • In 2015, 7,161 companies exported goods from Tennessee of which 82% were small- and medium-sized enterprises. In 2015, 163,500 people were employed by affiliates of companies at least 50% foreign-owned.2

Exports and Growth

  • Tennessee exported $33.2 billion in goods to foreign markets in 2017. Tennessee's largest markets in 2017 were:2
    • Canada ($8.9 billion)
    • Mexico ($4.6 billion)
    • China ($2.4 billion)
    • Japan ($1.9 billion)
    • Belgium ($1.3 billion)
  • Agricultural exports are important to Tennessee's' economy, totaling $1.4 billion in 2016, according to the USDA.3
  • Since 2013, the U.S. Export-Import Bank has financed $1 billion in exports from 69 companies in Tennessee.4
  • Since 1971, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation has invested $124 million in Tennessee companies for overseas investment.5

Education and Research

  • In 2015-2016, 6,129 Tennessee students studied abroad.6
  • During 2017, 9,957 international students were enrolled in Tennessee colleges and universities and contributed $333 million to the Tennessee economy.6

Global Engagement

  • Since 1961, 1,891 Peace Corps volunteers from Tennessee have served in dozens of countries overseas.7