Last updated on September 5th, 2019 at 02:54 pm
The total value of Wisconsin exports dropped $673.2 million during the first seven months of the year, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The 5% year-to-date drop is the 17th largest decline in the country and the fifth largest in the 12-state Midwest region. It is the 14th largest decline in absolute terms.
At almost $12.7 billion, the first seven months of 2019 are Wisconsin’s worst start to the year for exports since 2016. It is just the second time since 2012 that exports did not top $13 billion by the end of July.
Manufacturers and farmers have been hit be increasing global trade tensions, particularly between the U.S. and China. The release of detailed July data was delayed, but through June, exports to China had decreased 26.3% for the year, accounting for nearly 38% of the Wisconsin total export decline.
Exports to Canada decreased 5.6% in the first six months of the year while shipments to Europe were down 2.7% and Mexico was down 1%.
In the latest Marquette University Law School poll, released Wednesday, 46% of respondents said imposing tariffs on products imported to the U.S. hurts the U.S. economy while 30% those actions help the country’s economy.
Many of the tariffs the U.S. has levied on other countries have been met with retaliatory actions, including a protracted back and forth with China.
The responses largely split along partisan lines with 49% of Republicans saying the tariffs help the U.S. compared to just 13% of Democrats and 30% of independents.
All but three Midwestern states have seen exports fall this year. Missouri has seen the largest percentage decrease at 10.7%, followed by South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois, which has seen an 8.4% or nearly $3.3 billion decrease in exports this year.
North Dakota, Indiana and Kansas are the only Midwest states with export gains, but all three are up less than 1% for the year.
Nationally, U.S. exports have declined 0.66%, including a 0.47% drop in July.
Wisconsin’s year-to-date number includes a 4.6% decline in July. State exports have decreased every month this year compared to 2018.
July’s drop was actually an improvement from the previous three months. Exports were down 6% in April, 10.4% in May and 10.8% in June.