Exporting in Wisconsin: 2016 Recap

Wisconsin International Trade Conference

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:08 pm

Wisconsin exports totaled $21 billion in 2016, a 6 percent decline from 2015. Much of the decline in Wisconsin and around the country can be attributed to the increasing strength of the U.S. dollar, which ended 2016 at a 14-year high.

While there will be yearly fluctuations in export figures, the long-term trend for Wisconsin is a positive one. From 2010 to 2016, exports grew by 6 percent. During that same period, the state also experienced double-digit increases in exports to Mexico, Japan and the UK.

Aircraft/spacecraft and parts was the product category that grew by the largest dollar volume from 2015 to 2016 – an increase of $193.4 million, or 41 percent.

Kuwait was the country that posted the largest dollar value increase from 2015 to 2016 – $107.5 million, or 186 percent – followed by Mexico, with an increase of $80.7 million, or 2.7 percent.

Wisconsin companies exported goods and services to 200 different countries in 2016, and state exports were up in 88 countries compared to 2015.

Looking ahead, Wisconsin can expect to experience an increase in exports of medical-related equipment, as countries like China and India start to improve upon and invest in their healthcare industry.

Other opportunities exist in Wisconsin’s manufacturing of precision equipment used in the aviation and aeronautics industry, as well as energy and power control. With the increasing worldwide focus on fresh water, Wisconsin also is well-positioned as a global leader in water technology, with its efforts supported by The Water Council.





$6.59 billion

$7.31 billion


$3.05 billion

$2.97 billion


$1.42 billion

$1.55 billion


$865 million

$815 million

United Kingdom

$813 million

$825 million




Industrial machinery

$5.2 billion

$5.8 billion

Medical & scientific instruments

$2.3 billion

$2.4 billion

Electrical machinery

$2.0 billion

$2.2 billion

Non-rail vehicles & parts

$1.6 billion

$1.7 billion

Plastic products

$1.0 billion

$1.0 billion

Source: Wisconsin Economic Development Corp./U.S. Census Bureau

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