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Biggest Exports by US State in 2017

We created out latest map in three steps. First, we used US Census Bureau data to identify the most prevalent export industries in 2017 in each state. Then we assigned a color for each category or industry, generating a snapshot of the geography of exports. Finally, for each state, we labeled the specific sector within the category, so that a state that is light blue for “Machinery/Transportation” is labeled specifically “Airplanes,” “Trucks,” etc. on the map. This lets you quickly and easily… ( Altro...

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Keep in mind there are two types of "Export", one being domestic and the other foreign. People have questioned the tobacco listed for Montana. In fact, the number one export of Montana is coal. But, the vast majority of the coal produced goes to power plants in the US, so it is domestic and wouldn't be effected directly by a foreign trade policy. Exporters, in Montana often act as brokers for tobacco farmers in other states. Hence their number one foreign export is, in fact, tobacco.
Pa Thomas 1
Thanks for the explanation.
Most people are clueless as to economics because they are not Business School graduates.

Export numbers do not reflect where a product is made or grown, export numbers solely are based on where an item is exported from... even if that export is a paper transaction from an export brokers office or an "American" car which is comprised of parts sourced worldwide and/or the vehicle that is assembled in another country yet it's FINAL value and classification as a vehicle is attributed to the U.S. as an exported product.

As to China's export numbers, they are highly inflated because the export item and dollar amount is based on the FINAL value of the item being exported... what is totally lost is the value of ALL the sub-components that went into the item being exported many of which are made in the U.S.  For example an iPhone is made up of many components sourced from many countries including Japan, Korea and the U.S. but the export number is the value of the final product, a finished iPhone and classified as an export from China for its principle end use. 

In many instances China only assembles products or makes an inexpensive part then assembles the product made of parts that are sourced from other countries including the U.S. yet the export number is the FINAL value of the FINISHED item.  So the large dollar amount gets assigned to China only because it’s the last stop in a global supply chain before the item heads for the US, not because every step of the process happens there. 

Factually, most work done in China is work that no American worker would ever want to do.  Additionally American corporations have moved work to Asia for three reasons: to utilize cheaper labor, to not have to make ANY capital investments in modernized, efficient factories AND to sell off fixed assets comprised of equipment & land (corporate raiders)..... ALL to maximize both short and long term corporate profits with absolutely no regard to lost jobs in the U.S. and yet we reward this behavior with tax cuts?!! 

Trump’s statements on trade have regularly revealed him as someone who understands nothing about either how international trade works or how it should be regulated. He is completely clueless as to how China is integral to our domestic corporate products and how damaging his tariffs will be to our economy in dollars and lost jobs.  But, as he does on every topic, Trump believes he knows everything even though he is obviously a horrible businessman as evidenced by his six corporate bankruptcies and the fact he would be broke if it weren't for the Russian Oligarchs that bailed him out, of which most likely involving money laundering but I won't digress into his malfeasance. Only an uneducated fool buys into his unabated lies.
Basically prepare for a recession
Considering the president just decided to up the ante by $200 Billion for China, I would certainly think the long recovery since the 2008 bottom is about to get turned on its head.
I'm curious if Airbus gets enough revenue in Alabama add another airplane state in 18.
Definition of export by US census bureau:


In certain cases, the export origin of movement does not reflect the transportation origin. Specifically whenever shipments are consolidated, the state will reflect the consolidation point rather than the origin of movement. This effect is particularly noticeable for agricultural shipments. For these shipments intermediaries located in inland states are shipping agricultural commodities down the Mississippi River for export from the port of New Orleans. In this case, the state reflects Louisiana, the state where the port of New Orleans is located, as the state of origin of movement. The states in which the commodities were grown and originally shipped are lost.

Another impact is on the states of distribution for non-manufactured exports. When goods are generally stored and then exported by central offices or intermediaries. The most visible result is to understate exports from the original production state and to overstate exports from the general office or consolidation point. For example, New York has ports that handle high-value shipments of non-manufactured products that may stand out.
It helped me wrap my head around this data.
I have troubles with the numbers shown in this article, especially with the state of Iowa.

While USDA's numbers are not yet out for 2017 (due out 8/2018), they did publish data for 2016. Corn exports for 2016; $M 1746, are far ahead of what the article shows for 2017; $M 1190.

But by far, export beans for 2016 were $M 3113 lead the state. And export pork for 2016 was $M 1999, above the levels of export corn. And just as a point of reference, total agricultural exports for Iowa were $M 10,607 in 2016. Again all data from USDA.
So, where are all these planes built that are exported from Kentucky? Has the Toyota plant started building aircraft?
So "airplanes" is really "aerospace". Thanks, Daniel.
Flightaware pushing this this article bashing tariffs how it will hurt. But do huge ad sellout to middle eastern carrier Emirates hurting US airlines.
Dan Rice 0
Yikes!!! Since Montana does not grow tobacco the export number is quite shocking. It makes me question the other data on the map.
It doesn't grow it or sell it. Cigarettes are made in NC and shipped to MT for sale. Not the other way around.
US Census says cigarettes are the #1 export from Montana:
Pa Thomas 0
That looks a bit odd, since the 2016 "State Of Manufacturing in Montana" states:

The beverage and tobacco industry, and miscellaneous manufacturing, was tied for second with employment increases between 2010 and 2014 of about 400 workers each. These represent a 51.8 percent increase in the former and 16.8 percent increase in the latter. Since tobacco manufacturing is almost nonexistent in Montana, most of the increase in the beverage industry can be attributed
to brewing and distilling of beer and liquor. Craft breweries, distilleries and tasting rooms have opened in almost all major urban areas and many in smaller communities.

So, does the Census report mix up the tobacco with the beverage industry?
glenver 0
Montana. Tobacco? Really? How about blown knees as I did skiing........
OK: knee immobilizers and Vicodin instead.
Very poorly compiled list. Montana doesn’t even grow tobacco and is not a transportation hub for the product.


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