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Wisconsin Trade with Germany Stays Strong

Germany has long been an important trade partner of Wisconsin and the United States.

cargo ship on the ocean

In early February, the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released annual trade data, including exports by state of origin and by country of destination, as well as imports by country of origin and state of destination.


In 2023, Wisconsin exported $28.0 billion worth of products to countries around the world. Germany was the destination for $959.2 million worth of Wisconsin exports. Germany continued to rank fourth as a destination for Wisconsin exports following Canada, Mexico, and China.


Leading product categories shipped from Wisconsin to Germany in 2023 included:

  • Industrial Machinery - $195.2 million

  • Medical & Scientific Instruments - $132.1 million

  • Plastic Products - $91.9 million

  • Electrical Machinery, including Telecommunications - $83.1 million

  • Chemical Products - $75.1 million

  • Organic Chemicals - $66.9 million

  • Essential Oils, Perfumes, & Cosmetics - $55.2 million

  • Aircraft, Spacecraft, & Parts - $35.2 million

  • Non-Railway Vehicles & Parts - $33.9 million

  • Simple Proteins, Modified Starches, Glue, & Enzymes - $29.7 million


Wisconsin's direct imports from Germany totaled $2.6 billion in 2023. Major product categories included:

  • Industrial Machinery - $959.7 million

  • Medical & Scientific Instruments - $456.7 million

  • Pharmaceuticals - $342.6 million

  • Electrical Machinery, including Telecommunications - $280.6 million

  • Tools, Cutlery, & Other Metal Products - $93.4 million

  • Plastic Products - $79.3 million

  • Raw Iron & Steel - $67.1 million

  • Special Classification Products - $38.6 million

  • Miscellaneous Chemicals $35.9 million

  • Processed Iron & Steel Products - $30.6 million


Sometimes German products destined for Wisconsin are shipped to U.S distributors in other states before they are ultimately delivered to customers in Wisconsin. Because of the way that trade data is collected, such products will likely be recorded as imports in the state(s) where the German supplier or U.S. importer has distribution hubs rather than Wisconsin.

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