ATLANTA — Georgia notched big international trade numbers last year despite a dip in business with China amid tensions fueled by tariffs.
Aircraft and auto makers, medical-device manufacturers, farmers and forestry industries in Georgia drove $41.2 billion in exports worldwide, which the state Department of Economic Development declared to be a record.
Exports to three of the state’s largest trading partners – Canada, Mexico and China – fell by more than 10% compared to 2018. Trade dropped particularly with China, which took in 20% fewer exports at $2.3 billion.
Germany and Singapore offset that decrease by boosting their imports of Georgia-made airplanes, gas turbines and automobiles. Combined, those two countries saw a roughly 23% increase in exports, according to an annual report the economic development agency released this week.
The report follows Gov. Brian Kemp’s trip to Germany last month to bolster economic ties between the two countries.
The governor touted the new 2019 figures Monday as proof of the state’s economic strength amid signs of national uncertainty. Kemp has called for budget cuts to state agencies this fiscal year and next partly out of concerns over future economic slowdown.
“Our state’s top-notch logistics network and services are customized across all industry sectors and regions, and hard-working Georgians continue to create products in demand across the globe,” Kemp said.
Exports of agricultural products like poultry, cotton and peanuts stayed flat at around $4.2 billion, according to the report.
Georgia also boosted imports from other countries, though China still lagged by about 16% compared to 2018. The state took in more than $100 billion in imports last year.
U.S. and Chinese officials struck the first phase of a two-part trade deal last month aimed at easing tensions brought by tariffs President Donald Trump imposed to curb trade-secret theft.