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The No. 1 Product in Each State Hit Hardest by the Trade War

Joel Anderson

The ongoing saga of the trade dispute between China and the United States doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon. In fact, plenty of prognosticators are expecting the current conflict to stretch on for the foreseeable future. While many American consumers still haven’t felt a direct impact on their lives, exporters in various industries are experiencing economic pain due to the retaliatory tariffs slapped on their goods.

Depending on where you live and what you do, the impact of the trade war on your livelihood can vary widely. While some states aren’t heavily dependent on exports or have industries that serve countries with free trade pacts, other states rely on sending goods to China to maintain their bottom line. GOBankingRates examined the biggest exports to China from each American state, sourced from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to discover the industries hit hardest by the trade war.

Alabama

  1. Passenger vehicles, 1,500 cc to 3,000 cc
  2. Soybeans
  3. Passenger vehicles, over 3,000 cc

While Michigan might be home to the Motor City, the South has been drawing in auto manufacturers with lower costs and incentive packages since the 1980s. As such, Alabama’s auto industry stands to take a hit due to the new taxes on its exports.

Alaska

  1. Lead ores and concentrates
  2. Pacific salmon, frozen
  3. Precious metal ores and concentrates (except silver)

Alaskan salmon is world-famous, so it’s no surprise that the fish is getting hit with tariffs. Pescetarians across the globe might need to swim upstream to find a suitable substitute.

Arizona

  1. Transistors, other than photosensitive
  2. Whole hides and skins of bovine/equine
  3. Cotton

Transistors are simple electronic components used to amplify current. They have many uses, but one of the most important is in microphones. International podcasters might soon be wishing they had cheaper access to mics with Arizona-made transistors inside.

Arkansas

  1. Chemical wood pulp, soda, etc.
  2. Polymers of styrene, in primary forms
  3. Polymers of polyvinyl chloride, plasticized

Chemical wood pulp is crucial to making paper, and Arkansas has been exporting about $46 million worth of the product to China on an annual basis. All told, about $260 million in exports from Arkansas would be affected by retaliatory tariffs.

California

  1. Motor vehicles with only electric motors
  2. Phones for cellular networks or for other wireless networks
  3. Passenger vehicles, over 3,000 cc

With $13 billion in goods exported to China annually, certain industries in California are subject to significant economic damage due to the new tariffs. Among the most affected companies might be the embattled Tesla, as electric cars will be hit the hardest in the Golden State.

Colorado

  1. Whole hides and skins of bovine/equine
  2. X-ray film in rolls
  3. Instruments and appliances for medical, surgical, dental and veterinary

Hides and skins might be a product with a decidedly unappealing name, but the global market is essential to Colorado exporters sending hides abroad to be made into leather goods.

Connecticut

  1. Refined copper cathodes and sections of cathodes
  2. Physical chemical instruments/apparatuses measuring viscosity and heat
  3. Spark-ignition reciprocating internal combustion piston engine parts

The intricate network of carmakers and parts suppliers makes the auto industry heavily reliant on a wide variety of goods moving across many different borders. One example is Connecticut, which exports nearly $30 million worth of piston engine parts to China each year.

Delaware

  1. Physical chemical instruments/apparatuses measuring viscosity and heat
  2. Filter/purify machine and apparatus parts
  3. Plates, etc., noncell, not resin, of plastics

Delaware exports over $30 million worth of parts for filters and purifiers to China each year. That’s a little over 10% of the state’s total annual exports to the People’s Republic of China.

Florida

  1. Gold, nonmonetary, unwrought
  2. Copper waste and scrap
  3. Aluminum waste and scrap

While Florida most likely brings citrus fruit and theme parks to mind, the state’s largest exports to China are various forms of gold, copper and aluminum.

Georgia

  1. Chemical wood pulp, soda, etc.
  2. Chemical wood pulp, dissolving grades
  3. Medical needles, catheters, etc., and parts, etc.

Georgia is another state where the materials for making various kinds of paper are an important export. The Peach State sends over a half-billion dollars’ worth of chemical wood pulp products to China each year.

Hawaii

  1. Petrol oil/bitum mineral (not crude, not biodiesel)
  2. Other aromatic hydrocarbon mixtures of which 65% or more by volume (including losses) distills at 250 degrees Celsius
  3. Light oils and preparations containing Gt=70% petroleum/bitum (not biodiesel)

Hawaii exports a lot of petroleum oil across the Pacific. This oil can make its way into a wide variety of products, ranging from gasoline and other fuels to the crayons that your kid uses.

Idaho

  1. Whey and modified whey
  2. Parts of instruments for measuring electrical quantities, alpha beta ionizing radiation
  3. Photo plates and film, exposed/developed, other than cinema

Yes, people still use film. In fact, people in China are using about $9 million worth of it imported from providers in Idaho every year — though that might change if prices increase.

Illinois

  1. Soybeans
  2. Passenger vehicles, 1,500 cc to 3,000 cc
  3. Grain sorghum

Illinois is a major state for agricultural production, so soybeans and grain sorghum, which is a staple crop in large parts of Africa, are among its biggest exports set to take a hit from tariffs. The state sends $1.3 billion in soybeans to China each year — roughly the same value as the electric cars exported by California.

Indiana

  1. Gearboxes for motor vehicles
  2. Spark-ignition reciprocating internal combustion piston engine parts
  3. Medical needles, catheters, etc., and parts, etc.

Indiana sends over $50 million worth of medical needles and other supplies to China on an annual basis. In total, the state has about $1 billion in exports that will be affected by retaliatory tariffs.

Iowa

  1. Offal of swine (except livers), edible, frozen
  2. Soybeans
  3. Animal feed prep (except for dog or cat food), retail

American tastes tend to exclude animal organ meats, but that’s not the case in all other countries. Plenty of beef and pork exports to countries like China and Mexico include internal organs that are used in their regional cuisines. Iowa alone sends over $30 million of pig offal to China on an annual basis.

Kansas

  1. Whole hides and skins of bovine/equine
  2. Grain sorghum
  3. Soybeans

Anyone who has driven through Kansas is likely well aware of the fact that the state engages in a whole lot of agriculture. All told, there’s about a half-billion dollars’ worth of goods headed across the Pacific from Kansas each year, with hides, grain sorghum and soybeans making up the biggest part of those exports.

Kentucky

  1. Passenger vehicles, 1,500 cc to 3,000 cc
  2. Oakwood, sawn, sliced, etc., over 6 millimeters thick
  3. Spark-ignition reciprocating/rotary internal combustion engine

Kentucky’s biggest export to China by a long shot is passenger vehicles — it’s another state that has benefitted from auto factories heading south. While oak makes up Kentucky’s second-largest export, the state only sends about $50 million worth of wood per year compared with $856 million per year in vehicles.

Louisiana

  1. Soybeans
  2. Natural gas, liquefied
  3. Styrene

Soybeans have become an essential feed crop for livestock all over the world, and Louisiana works hard to feed that demand. The state sends a whopping $5.6 billion worth of soybeans to China on an annual basis.

Maine

  1. Chemical wood pulp, soda, etc., nonconiferous
  2. Lobsters, live, fresh or chilled
  3. Mucilage and thickener from vegetable products

Maine lobsters might be world-famous, but they’re actually far behind chemical wood pulp as far as exports to China are concerned. The state ships $105 million in raw paper ingredients to the People’s Republic of China, compared with only $56 million in lobsters.

Maryland

  1. Aluminum waste and scrap
  2. Copper waste and scrap
  3. Corrugated paper waste, scrap unbleached

China imports about $71 million in aluminum and copper scrap from Maryland on an annual basis, much of which it recycles into new products. However, importing scrap metal and other solid waste is one industry that China is moving away from. The country plans to reduce its solid waste shipments to zero by 2020 as part of its environmental campaign against “foreign garbage.”

Massachusetts

  1. Lasers, other than laser diodes
  2. Medical needles, catheters, etc., and parts, etc.
  3. Instruments and appliances for medical, surgical, dental and veterinary

If there’s a state that can lay claim to having the coolest export getting hit by tariffs, Massachusetts makes a real case for winning the title, as its primary export to China is lasers. Lasers are used in a wide variety of high-tech products, such as smart TVs and 5G wireless technology.

Michigan

  1. Passenger vehicles, 1,500 cc to 3,000 cc
  2. Gearboxes for motor vehicles
  3. Rearview mirrors for motor vehicles

While a lot of auto manufacturing has moved south, there’s still plenty of it up north. The Motor City is going strong enough to export almost half a billion dollars’ worth of cars to China, with an additional $250 million in gearboxes on top of that.

Minnesota

  1. Filter/purify machine and apparatus parts
  2. Medical needles, catheters, etc., and parts, etc.
  3. Plates, sheets, film, etc., plastics, self-adhesive

Minnesota sends nearly $100 million worth of medical products, like needles and catheters, to China on an annual basis.

Mississippi

  1. Soybeans
  2. Cotton
  3. Chemical wood pulp, soda etc.

While cotton has been a staple crop in Mississippi for generations, soybeans are a more recent arrival. The birthplace of the blues sends $110 million worth of soybeans across the Pacific each year, compared with $107 million in cotton.

Missouri

  1. Lead ores and concentrates
  2. Offal of swine (except livers), edible, frozen
  3. Meat of swine, frozen

While lead ores and concentrates are Missouri’s biggest export to China, the state’s pork industry grabs the next two spots. Missouri exports $45 million worth of frozen pig organs and $42 million in frozen pork each year.

Montana

  1. Silicon containing by weight not less than 99.99% of silicon
  2. Copper oxides and hyrdoxides
  3. Hydrids/nitrids/azids/silicids/etc.

High-purity silicon is Montana’s primary export to China, which receives $26 million worth of it from the Treasure State each year. The material is used in products like solar cells. Overall, Montana exports $116 million in goods to the People’s Republic of China on an annual basis.

Nebraska

  1. Whole hides and skins of bovine/equine
  2. Bovine/equine hide/skin, full-grain, unsplit
  3. Salt, including table/denatured, pure sodium chloride, etc.; seawater

Nearly 7 million cattle live in Nebraska, which houses 7.2% of the total cattle in the country — second only to Texas. As such, Nebraska’s prominent standing in the beef industry should make it clear why the state has so many bovine hides to ship overseas.

Nevada

  1. Copper ores and concentrates
  2. Measuring and checking instrument, appliances and machines
  3. Milk/cream concentrated

Nevada has long been home to a thriving mining industry, even earning its nickname, the Silver State, for major finds of the precious metal. Today, however, copper — which goes into things like wires and pipes — has eclipsed it. Copper ore and concentrates are the largest export to China from Nevada.

New Hampshire

  1. Parts and accessories of printers, copiers and fax machines
  2. Insulated optical fiber cables
  3. Electrical machines and apparatuses, having individual functions

Copiers, printers and fax machines involve a lot of different parts and accessories, so supplying them to China is a big part of New Hampshire’s economy. The state sends $75 million worth of these parts and accessories across the Pacific every year.

New Jersey

  1. Parts and accessories for automatic data processing machines and units
  2. Jewelry and parts thereof, of other precious metal
  3. Copper waste and scrap

You might not think of New Jersey when it comes to the international jewelry trade, but that’s a mistake. The state exports $70 million worth of bling and related parts to China on an annual basis.

New Mexico

  1. Instruments and appliances for medical, surgical, dental and veterinary
  2. Copper waste and scrap
  3. Chemical elements doped, used in electronics, discs wafers, etc.

Chinese hospitals tend to view American-made equipment as the most technologically advanced and better quality. That means devices like X-ray machines in China are often made by U.S. companies. New Mexico alone is responsible for exporting millions of dollars’ worth of medical instruments and appliances to China each year.

New York

  1. Parts of machine for assembly electrical lamp, etc., manufacturing glassware
  2. Copper waste and scrap
  3. Compression-ignition internal combustion piston engine

Diesel engines — which are more efficient and therefore find their way into delivery trucks and other high-use vehicles — are among the largest exports to China from New York. The Empire State sends $102 million worth of these internal combustion engines across the Pacific each year.

North Carolina

  1. Chemical wood pulp, soda, etc.
  2. Tobacco, partly or wholly stemmed/stripped
  3. Oakwood, sawn, sliced, etc., over 6 millimeters thick

You might not have realized just how much chemical wood pulp the United States is exporting to China, but this raw material for paper is among the top exports in several different states.

North Dakota

  1. Soybeans
  2. Mechanical front-end shovel loaders, self-propelled
  3. Parts for lifting, handling, loading/unloading machine

Another state where soybean exports are important to the local economy, North Dakota sends about $28 million worth of the crop overseas each year. All told, that’s over half of the state’s total exports to China.

Ohio

  1. Soybeans
  2. Plates, etc., noncell, not resin, of plastics
  3. Gearboxes for motor vehicles

The Buckeye State exports over $225 million worth of plastic plates to China each year. And, like its neighbor to the west, Ohio also exports large quantities of gearboxes across the Pacific.

Oklahoma

  1. Meat of swine, frozen
  2. Cotton
  3. Artificial waxes and prepared waxes

Oklahoma’s biggest export to China comes in the form of frozen pork, of which the Sooner State delivers roughly $30 million worth each year.

Oregon

  1. Photo film, no sprocket, over 610 mm, excluding color
  2. Passenger vehicles, 1,500 cc to 3,000 cc
  3. Transistors, other than photosensitive

While digital cameras might be the standard nowadays, there’s still a demand for actual film in China. One state supplying that film is Oregon, which exports nearly a quarter-billion dollars’ worth of it every year.

Pennsylvania

  1. Bituminous coal, not agglomerated
  2. Portable digital automatic data processing machines, weighing not more than 10 kilograms
  3. Oakwood, sawn, sliced, etc., over 6 millimeters thick

Pennsylvania has long been a part of coal country, so it shouldn’t be surprising that the Keystone State depends on the fuel as its biggest export to China. Pennsylvania exports $288 million worth of coal to China on an annual basis.

Rhode Island

  1. Parts for electrical machines and apparatuses with individual functions
  2. Gold compounds
  3. Base metals, silver or gold, clad with platinum, not further worked than semi-manufactured

Gold is popular with Chinese consumers, and one American supplier of the precious metal is Rhode Island. Gold and gold-related products are the state’s second- and third-largest exports to China, in the form of gold compounds used to treat various diseases and the base metal that’s often found in jewelry.

South Carolina

  1. Passenger vehicles, 1,500 cc to 3,000 cc
  2. Passenger vehicles, over 3,000 cc
  3. Gearboxes for motor vehicles

South Carolina’s economy is deeply involved in the auto industry, as all three of the state’s biggest exports to China are either vehicles or parts for them. South Carolina sends about $2.5 billion worth of passenger vehicles overseas on an annual basis.

South Dakota

  1. Lifting, handling, loading and unloading machines
  2. Bentonite, including calcined
  3. Whey and modified whey

South Dakota is getting off relatively easy in the trade war compared to the other states. It exports just $63 million in goods to China each year. A little under one-third of that money comes from loading and unloading machines, such as cranes and power shovels.

Tennessee

  1. Passenger vehicle with spark ignition and electric motor, not charged by plug
  2. Instruments and appliances for medical, surgical, dental and veterinary
  3. Portable digital automatic data processing machines, weighing not more than 10 kilograms

While no one would bat an eye at California exporting a lot of electric cars, it might be a little more surprising to hear that they’re also the top export for Tennessee. The state’s auto industry sends over $200 million worth of cars with electric motors across the Pacific each year.

Texas

  1. Propane, liquefied
  2. Grain sorghum
  3. Cotton

Texas sends about $10 billion worth of goods to China each year. Of that, roughly one-fifth is in the form of liquified propane, which is often used to manufacture plastics and other compounds.

Utah

  1. Forage products (hay, clover, vetches, etc.)
  2. Gold, nonmonetary, unwrought
  3. Medical needles, catheters, etc., and parts, etc.

While soybeans are the biggest feed crop that the United States sends abroad, Utah counts forage products — like straw and hay — among its biggest exports to China. The Beehive State exports $50 million worth of forage products overseas each year.

Vermont

  1. Whey and modified whey
  2. Spectrometers, spectrophotometers and spectrographs using optical radiations (ultraviolet, visible, infrared)
  3. Articles/equipment for general, physical exercise, gym, etc.

Vermont cheddar has a stellar reputation, but Chinese interest in Vermont dairy products appears to start earlier than that. Whey — the liquid that remains after milk has been curdled to make cheese — is high in protein and gets used in various food products, from bakery goods to infant formula. The Green Mountain State ships $11 million worth of whey to China each year.

Virginia

  1. Soybeans
  2. Kraft paper
  3. Bituminous coal, not agglomerated

Another state where soybeans are the largest export to China, Virginia ships $361 million worth of the product across the Pacific each year.

Washington

  1. Soybeans
  2. Passenger vehicles, over 3,000 cc
  3. Coniferous wood in the rough, not treated

The beautiful evergreen forests of the Pacific Northwest are more than just a gorgeous landscape. They also help drive the timber industry in the state of Washington, which exports over $350 million worth of untreated coniferous wood — that is, the wood from evergreen trees or shrubs — to China each year.

West Virginia

  1. Oakwood, sawn, sliced, etc., over 6 millimeters thick
  2. Propylene copolymers, primary forms
  3. Nickel plates, sheets, strip and foil, alloyed

The Mountain State sends about $68 million worth of oakwood to China annually. Overseas demand has increased for most types of wood, as China’s expanding middle class continues to invest in quality furniture and other interior products.

Wisconsin

  1. Computed tomography apparatus
  2. Firefighting vehicles
  3. Whey and modified whey

For those who might not know, CT scan stands for computed tomography scan. Each year, Wisconsin exports to China approximately $100 million worth of machines that can perform these scans.

Wyoming

  1. Rare gases, other than argon
  2. Disodium carbonate
  3. Parts, machine, and appliances, test hardiness/strength, etc.

Wyoming exports almost $20 million worth of rare gases — another name for the noble gases like neon, xenon and helium — to China every year. Overall, $37 million in Wyoming exports are being targeted by retaliatory tariffs.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: The No. 1 Product in Each State Hit Hardest by the Trade War