Trade report: Tennessee exporters suffer ‘disappoi...

Trade report: Tennessee exporters suffer ‘disappointing’ Q2 losses

The Nissan LEAF (Courtesy of Nissan USA)

Tennessee exporters suffered a tough second quarter almost across the board, particularly in auto sales, according to the latest Global Commerce trade report from MTSU’s Business and Economic Research Center.

Dr. Steven Livingston, professor of political science & international relations and contributor to MTSU’s Business and Economic Research Center

Dr. Steven Livingston

“With the exception of Tennessee’s medical sector, which posted remarkable gains, it was a very disappointing quarter for state exporters,” said Global Commerce author Steven Livingston, BERC associate director and a professor of political science and international relations at MTSU.

“The state’s foreign shipments fell by $643 million (year over year), a 7.5 percent decline. There were losses across a number of sectors including whiskey, agriculture, and automotive products. And the losses were worldwide, stretching from Canada and Mexico to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.”

This placed Tennessee in 33rd in the U.S. in its export performance. Nationally, exports were down a bit over 3% for the quarter, with “the slowdown in automotive sales was particularly serious” for the state, Livingston noted.

The losses involved three factors:MTSU wordmark

  • The continuing slow growth of the world economy.
  • The impact of the U.S. “trade war” with China and other countries.
  • Declines in global automotive sales and production.

“Until the U.S. trade wars, low global growth, or declining auto sales end, it will continue to be a tough export environment over the coming months,” Livingston said.

To read the full report and more detailed summaries, go to

For more information, contact Livingston at 615-898-2720 or email

— Jimmy Hart (

Employee account created by LAM on 5/8/12 (PZRNFAC report)