Foreign trade is a major topic of discussion in today's political climate. Regardless of where you stand on the topic, you can't deny that it is something that has to be approached with careful consideration.
Just how much does foreign trade have an impact here in the U.S.? It's one thing to look at the the nation as a whole, but sometimes looking at a state-level view of trade can lend interesting insights as to what areas of the country rely most heavily on international imports and exports.
The two graphs below show two things: 1.) Just how large, in a global sense, each state's GDP is, 2.) How much each state depends on foreign trade.
This first graphic shows each U.S. state renamed for countries with similar GDP's.
This illustration really puts the economic power of the U.S. into perspective. Large states such as Texas and California produce similar economic outputs as countries such as Canada and France, and even smaller states produce economic outputs with global significance.
The second illustration below shows each state's GDP, as well as what percentage of their GDP is from foreign trade. This graphic is a fascinating view into which states rely heavily on foreign trade, and those that do not. Where does your state fall?
The Five States Most Reliant on Foreign Trade, by % of GDP
- Michigan – 38%
- Louisiana – 35.1%
- South Carolina – 34.8%
- Tennessee – 34.7%
- Kentucky – 34.3%
The Five Sates Least Reliant on Foreign Trade, by % of GDP
- South Dakota – 5.3%
- Wyoming – 5.8%
- New Mexico – 6.5%
- Colorado – 6.8%
- Hawaii – 7.0%
It can be observed that states with larger population hubs and those with headquarters of large, international corporations rely more so on international trade, while those with smaller population bases rely on it to a much lesser extent. Any changes to foreign trade policy could have a huge impact on the U.S. economy, either positive, or negative. How does the information above impact your views on this tricky political issue?