We show that shocks to domestic demand can have important eﬀects on exports. Austerity measures implemented in southern European countries as a result of the 2010-2011 sovereign debt crisis were a large and unanticipated shock to government spending. We show that ﬁrms with higher ex-ante government exposure signiﬁcantly increased their exports as a result. Older and larger ﬁrms are better able to substitute domestic sales with entry into export markets than younger and smaller ﬁrms. Higher-quality ﬁrms (i.e., ﬁrms with higher paid workers, higher productivity and more educated managers) are also more likely to start exporting. Unlike previous research on non-tradable industries, our results suggest that more mature ﬁrms drive the response of tradable industries to demand shocks.