August 30, 2017
Contact: Tom Evenson, (608) 266-2839
Wisconsin Exports Up 8.2% in First Half of 2017
Growth led by double-digit increase in exports to Canada, China
“We’re seeing success across the board.” – Gov. Walker
MADISON – Wisconsin businesses exported $11.2 billion in goods and services worldwide in the first half of 2017, an 8.2 percent increase over the first six months of 2016, Governor Scott Walker announced today.  

State agricultural exports in the first half rose by 8.8 percent over last year, with $1.8 billion in products shipped to 134 countries.


“Our solid first-half export numbers, which outpaced the U.S. increase in exports, is yet another indication of the overall strength of Wisconsin’s economy,” Governor Walker said. “We are seeing more companies of all sizes and industries gain access to new markets and new customers through exporting. This is outstanding news for the state business and farmers.”


Wisconsin’s export growth in the first half was generated by significant increases in shipments to Mexico and China. Exports to Mexico, the state’s second largest export destination, jumped by 17 percent to $1.6 billion, primarily because of an increase in the export of electrical machinery and oil seeds (primarily soybeans). Exports to China, Wisconsin’s No. 3 export destination, were up 19 percent to $825 million, due primarily to an increase in exports of industrial machinery. State companies exported $3.4 billion in goods to Canada, a 2 percent increase to the state’s top export destination.


State shipments to Saudi Arabia more than doubled to $476 million because of an increase in military vehicle exports.  That country jumped from 10th to fourth on the list of export destinations.


Overall, Wisconsin saw first-half increases in numerous key product categories, including electrical machinery (up 15 percent to $1.1 billion); vehicles and vehicle parts (up 36 percent to $1 billion); aircraft, spacecraft and parts (up 30 percent to $410 million); iron and steel products (up 10.5 percent to $211 million); oil seeds, miscellaneous grain, seed and fruit (up 220 percent to $182 million), dairy, eggs and honey products (up 26 percent to $152 million); and wood and wood products (up 9 percent to $125 million).


Industrial machinery continues to be the Wisconsin’s top export product category at $2.6 billion in the first half of the year, accounting for 24 percent of all state exports.  The second-largest product category is medical and scientific instruments, which accounts for 10 percent of all state exports at $1.1 billion.


“In addition to the overall growth in the first half of the year, what’s most encouraging about the numbers is that Wisconsin saw increases in every one of its top 10 export categories,” Governor Walker said. “It’s not just one or two industries driving the increases; we’re seeing success across the board.”


The numbers released today are based on U.S. Census Bureau data analyzed by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP).


Other exporting highlights from the first half of 2017 include:


  • Wisconsin ranked 19th in the U.S. in total exports and 12th in agricultural exports. The overall rank was up two spots from the first quarter of 2017.
  • Wisconsin led the nation in exports of a wide variety of products, including butter, prepared/preserved cranberries, prepared/preserved sweet corn, bicycles, firefighting vehicles, military vehicles, outboard and inboard marine engines, fur skins, ginseng roots, and bovine genetics.
  • Wisconsin businesses exported goods to 196 countries.
  • Total U.S. exports increased 6.7 percent, with 35 states seeing a rise in exports.

Both WEDC and DATCP offer programs to assist Wisconsin companies seeking to start or expand their exporting efforts. That includes a trade mission to Japan and South Korea in September and one to Israel in October that will be led by Governor Walker.

For information on other WEDC exporting programs, call 608-210-6856 or visit For details on DATCP programs aimed at agricultural companies, call 800-462-5237 or visit


Please follow and like us: