Governor Pritzker Highlights Strength of Illinois’ Export Industry during World Trade Month

Chicago, IL – Today, Governor Pritzker proclaimed May as World Trade Month, recognizing Illinois companies that stimulate business growth and job creation in the state through successes in international exporting. Over 900,000 Illinois jobs are supported by Illinois exports.

"International trade is a critical part of the economy and it is a priority for my administration to help increase export opportunities for Illinois' businesses," said Governor Pritzker. "Through supporting and growing our state's business community, we will continue to export large volumes of homegrown goods and services while creating earning opportunities for men and women in our local communities."

During the month of May, the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity's Office of International Trade (OIT) will celebrate World Trade Month with events highlighting the importance of international trade to the Illinois economy. OIT provides technical and financial assistance year-round to increase exports for hundreds of small and medium sized firms across the state. In the last fiscal year, the Office brought nearly 100 Illinois small businesses to fifteen group trade missions across the globe.

Illinois' export industry helps create high paying jobs for Illinoisans and contributes millions to the state's economy. The State of Illinois is the number one exporting state in the Midwest and ranks fifth in the United States.  Last year alone, $65 billion worth of Illinois manufactured products were sold to 217 countries all around the world. Exports account for eight percent of Illinois' gross state product.

In celebration of World Trade Month, OIT is excited to announce the Governor's export awards. Interested exporters can apply online here. For more information about the Illinois Department of Commerce Office of Trade and Investment, please visit