Trump's plan to 'tweak' Canadian trade relations could affect Minnesotans

President Trump promised to start “tweaking” the trade relationship between Canada and the U.S. For Minnesotans, any changes could have a major impact on the state’s economy.

Canada is Minnesota’s largest market for exports, which were about $4.5 billion in 2015. Minnesota imported about $8.6 billion from Canada in 2015. In all, $13.1 billion in products crossed the border in 2015.

“Canada is by far our largest trading partner. And it is for a good reason: the proximity but also cultural aspects of our economies as well,” said Kevin McKinnon, the deputy commissioner for Minnesota Employment and Economic Development.  "I don’t think Canada will ever necessarily not be one of our largest trading partners, so we look forward to working with them.”

According to a report by Minnesota Employment and Economic Development, Minnesota’s top exports to Canada are vehicles, machinery, electrical machinery, medical products and beverages. Minnesota’s top imports from Canada are fuels and minerals, vehicle parts, wood, fertilizer and plastics.

Canadian companies employ more than 22,000 Minnesotans, with at least 60 companies in 100 business locations in the state. Likewise, About 70 Minnesota companies operate in Canada.