May is World Trade Month in the United States, and Maine is hosting Trade Day this week. Now is an ideal moment for Maine’s industries to reflect on the state’s global impact, eyeing opportunities for growth in the future.

While Maine is (rightly) known for its local communities, small businesses and mom-and-pop shops serving lobster, blueberries and everything in between, even many Mainers don’t realize how international our economy has become over the last decade. From imports to exports, the Maine economy is deeply connected to the rest of the world, which relies on Maine products like we rely on foreign goods (aircraft parts and petroleum spirits come to mind).

Even exporters like Puritan Medical Products, where I work, can lose sight of Maine’s global impact. But it is profound: Our state exports more than $1 billion in goods annually to Canada alone, not to mention the likes of China, Malaysia, Japan and Italy. Every year, Maine exporters send billions of dollars worth of “Made in the USA” products to the rest of the world, supporting about 18,000 jobs. Other countries rely on us for transportation equipment, computers and other electronics, and marine goods like fish, among other exports.