Trade Statistics

CalChamber Capitol R​eport - February 19, 2015

California is one of the 10 largest economies in the world with a gross state product of over $2 trillion. According to an International Trade and Investment Study produced by the CA Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, "International trade and investment is a major economic engine for the state of California that broadly benefits businesses, communities, consumers and state government. As has been described at length in other reports, California’s economy is more diversified than ever before, and the state’s prosperity is tied to exports and imports of both goods and services by California-based companies, to exports and imports through California’s transportation gateways, and to inflows and outflows of human and capital resources."

Although trade is a nationally determined policy issue, its impact on California is immense. In 2014, California exported to 229 foreign markets. Trade offers the opportunity to expand the role of Californias exports. In its broadest terms, trade can literally feed the world and raise the living standards of those around us.​​​​

2014 Trade Statistics are available
through the International Trade Administration's
 "Trade Stats Express."
In 2014, California exported $174.1 billion to 229 foreign economies.
California's top export markets continue to be
Mexico, Canada, China, Japan and South Korea.

International Activities

Global Trade Facts

WTO Updates Statistic Database for 2014
World Trade Organization, July 30, 2015

Now includes revised data for 2014 on global exports and imports of goods and on trade in commercial services. More extensive data on trade in goods, with further breakdowns, will be made available by 1 September.

U.S. Exports Hit New Annual Record, Reaching $2.35 Trillion in 2014
U.S. Department of Commerce, February 5, 2015

WTO releases 2013 trade data
World Trade Organization, August 5, 2014

Modest trade growth anticipated for 2014 and 2015 following two year slump
World Trade Organization, April 14, 2014

U.S. Exports Support a Record 11.3 Million Jobs in 2013
U.S. Department of Commerce, February 25, 2014

According to the April 2014 World Trade Organization (WTO) report, world gross domestic product (GDP) at market exchange rates rose slightly in 2013 to 2.1%, up from 2% in 2012 and a sharp deceleration from the 2010 rebound of 13.8%. Growth will pick up slightly to 4.7% in 2014 and to 5.3% in 2015. The slow pace of growth in the past few years was attributed to “flat import demand,” slight import growth, and small export increases.

“For the last two years trade growth has been sluggish. Looking ahead, if GDP forecasts hold true, we expect a broad-based but modest upturn in 2014, and further consolidation of this growth in 2015”, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo said. “It's clear that trade is going to improve as the world economy improves. But I know that just waiting for an automatic increase in trade will not be enough for WTO Members.”

“We can actively support trade growth by updating the rules and reaching new trade agreements. The deal in Bali last December illustrates this.”

WTO economists cautioned that preliminary trade figures for 2013 and forecasts for 2014 were difficult to gauge due to the extraordinary levels of volatility in financial markets and in the broader economy for the last few years.

U.S. Trade Facts

According to the World Bank, the United States is the world’s largest economy with a GDP of $16.8 trillion. 

The largest export markets for U.S. goods in 2014 were Canada ($312.1 billion, up 3.5 percent), Mexico ($240.3 billion, up 6.3 percent), China ($124 billion, up 1.9 percent), and Japan ($67 billion, up 2.7 percent).

Annual Summary for 2014
Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/international/trade/tradnewsrelease.htm  

According to a March 2015 study by Tripadvisor, the U.S. is the most popular destination for world travelers for 2015.

California Trade Facts

U.S. Department of Commerce reported that, in 2014, California exports amounted to over $174 billion. This is an increase from the 2013 total of $168 billion. California maintained its perennial position as a top exporting state.

Exports from California accounted for 10.7 percent of total U.S. exports in 2014. California's top export destinations are Mexico, Canada, China, Japan and South Korea. California trade and exports translate into high-paying jobs for over one million Californians.
Top Export Sectors
California is a top exporter in the nation of computers, electronic products, and sales of food and kindred products. Computers and electronic products are California's top export, accounting for 24.5 percent of all the state's exports.

According to a study​ conducted by Tech America in February 2014, California Is the second largest tech exporting state after Texas. 

Other top categories included transportation equipment, machinery, except electrical, and misc. manufactured commodities.

According to a study conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the National Endowment for the Arts using 2011 data, creative industries led by Hollywood employ 2 million people and add about $504 billion to the U.S. GDP. 

Hollywood, Creative Industries Add $504 Billion to U.S. GDP
Associated Press, December 5, 2013​

Mexico continues to be California’s number one export market. California exports to Mexico increased to $25.4 billion in 2014. Mexico purchases 14.5 percent of all California exports.

California’s exports to Mexico are driven by computers and electronic products, which account for 21 percent of all California exports to Mexico. Other top categories included transportation equipment, machinery, except electrical, and petroleum and chemicals.

Canada is California's second largest export market, purchasing 10.5 percent of all California exports. In 2014, California exported over $18.2 billion to Canada.

Computers and electronic products remained California’s largest exports, accounting for 31.4 percent of all California exports to Canada.

California is the largest exporting state to Asia. In 2014, California exported over $71 billion in goods to the region.

Greater China
California exports to Mainland China totaled $16.1 billion in 2014. Computers and electronic products accounted for nearly 28 percent of exports to China.

Exports to Hong Kong were over $8.5 billion in 2014. Hong Kong removed duty off wine in 2008, making it the first duty-free wine port amongst major economies.  U.S. wine exports to Hong Kong went from $9 million in 2007 to $42 million in 2009.

California exports to Japan totaled $12.3 billion in 2014. Computers and electronic products accounted for over 22 percent of total exports.

European Union
California exports to the European Union (28) increased in 2014 to total $29.6 billion. California is one of the top exporting states to Europe. Computers, electronic products and chemicals are our leading export sectors to the region. European Union countries purchase nearly 17 percent of all California exports.

Export Totals from California (In $ U.S. millions)

Business Roundtable
U.S. Services Exports: California
Coalition of Services Industries, February 2015
Fast Facts on ​the California Economy ​
Compiled by: Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy – 09/2013


WTO Trade Statistics
2013 Editions

Additional Information