International trade with the rest of the world is a vital part of the U.S. economy and has a positive impact on each of our 50 states. Last year, American companies sold $2.2 trillion worth of goods and services to buyers in other countries, and American companies and consumers purchased $2.7 trillion worth of imports from trading partners all around the world. Together that volume of international trading activity represented 26 percent of the value of America’s $18.5 trillion in GDP in 2016. In terms of employment, more than 27 million American workers, about one-in-five, have jobs that are directly supported by our trade with the rest of the world. Some states like California and Texas have more than two million jobs that are directly supported by international trade.
The two maps above show each US state’s top country trade partners in 2016, based on the total dollar value of exports and imports from and to each state last year based on Census Bureau data. More than one-third of U.S. trade took place last year with our top three trade partners – Canada, Mexico and China ($1.65 trillion in combined trade activity out of $4.9 trillion total trade) – and that’s why you see so much blue (Canada), grey (Mexico) and pink (China) on the maps.
It’s also increasingly the case that U.S. imports generate U.S. exports, since the U.S. is now deeply-integrated into international, cross-border supply chains for inputs, parts, supplies, and final products. For example, Michigan’s top import trade partner last year was Mexico, which supplies automakers like Ford and GM with billions of dollars of car parts annually. After final assembly, many thousands of cars are exported from Michigan to Canada, the state’s top export trade partner.
Bottom Line: America’s economy and job market, and the country’s overall standard of living, are enhanced and strengthened by trading with the rest of the world. Tens of thousands of jobs in every U.S. state are supported by our growing global trade activity, and some states have more than a million trade-related jobs. Protectionist trade policies, if implemented, would jeopardize both economic growth and U.S. jobs in every state, and should be strongly opposed and resisted.
Note: This post was originally published by the Washington Examiner here.
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