International trade and investment have become a critical component for California’s economic growth and engine for creating jobs. In 2015, California ranked second in the United States in goods exports, with an estimated value of $165.4 billion to 229 foreign markets. And it isn’t just big business that benefits; 96 percent of all California exports come from small and medium sized businesses.

How California’s Economy Benefits From International Trade & Investment

  • In 2015, International trade supported more than 775,000 high paying California jobs. These trade-related jobs came from large and small companies, farmers, and factories
  • California exports billions of dollars in goods and services annually, including computer and electronics, transportation equipment, agricultural products, software and machinery. 
  • Exports support small, medium, and large businesses. The vast majority of California exporters are small and medium-sized companies with less than 500 workers.
  • Customers in 229 countries around the world buy California-grown and manufactured goods and services. Top markets like Mexico, Canada, and China buy billions of dollars of California products and services annually.
  • Imports lower prices and increase choices for California companies and families.
  • Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) have led to rapid export growth to partner countries. America’s FTA partners purchased 41% - more than $67 Billion - of California’s total exported goods in 2015. 
  • Foreign owned companies invest in California and employ more than 631,000 Californians.

Although trade is a nationally determined policy issue, its impact on California is immense. The International Affairs and Business Development unit works to drive business for California and increase the Golden State's continued global economic strength and competitiveness.

Explore the following tabs to learn about our programs. Visit the California Business Portal for additional export assistance resources and information to get your business up and running globally.