Published Aug. 13, 2012
South Carolina merchandise exports rose 4% to $13 billion in the first half of 2012 compared with $12.6 billion for the same period in 2011, according to the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration.
“Exports are an increasingly important part of South Carolina’s economic recovery as local businesses both big and small start to look beyond our borders to increase their customer base,” said Francisco Sanchez, a U.S. Commerce Department under secretary.
The state’s first-half export sales outpaced 2011 figures for the same period to many top destinations, including Iraq, up 61%; Japan, 55%; Brazil, 23%; Saudi Arabia, 10%; and Canada, 10%.
Key merchandise export categories include transportation equipment, machinery, chemicals, plastics, and computer and electronic products.
“The growth in South Carolina export numbers help demonstrate that there’s every incentive for U.S. companies to be pursuing export opportunities,” said Dorette Coetsee, director of the U.S. Commercial Service in Columbia. “Foreign buyers have a high appreciation for U.S. brand name products and services, and there’s no better time than now to start exporting.”
Since 2009, the International Trade Administration has assisted about 15,000 U.S. companies record nearly 47,000 export transactions. Those results supported the 9.7 million Americans employed by export-related jobs in 2011, an increase of 1.2 million jobs since 2009.
“The International Trade Administration is committed to helping South Carolina businesses leverage financing and other key resources to boost exports that support thousands of good, high-paying jobs across the state,” Sanchez said.