Minnesota exports continue growing

Minnesota's exports rose 15 percent in the second quarter to $5.9 billion.

The prospect of tariffs and a strong state economy pumped up foreign sales of grain, machinery, medical devices and other products.

Minnesota hasn't seen such a big spike in exports since 2010.

But Gabrielle Gerbaud, executive director of the state trade office, said state exports have been steadily strong.

"Minnesota has been growing exports for the last two, three years, constantly. Every quarter," she said.

Gerbaud said it's hard to discern the effect of tariff concerns, given Minnesota's robust economy. But she said tariffs were likely a factor in some firms' export strategies and sales efforts.

Gerbaud said there's a lot of interest in seeing if the U.S. works out a new trade deal with Canada, Minnesota's top export market. Sales jumped 20 percent from a year ago to $1.3 billion.

In July, Canada began imposing tariffs on U.S. goods in retaliation for the Trump administration's new taxes on steel and aluminum imported to the United States.

Minnesota's next most important markets in the second quarter were China and Mexico.

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