South Carolina’s exports reach across the globe, totalling $31.5 billion worth of goods in 2022. Top export markets include China, Germany, Canada, and the United Arab Emirates, with South Carolina’s manufacturing prowess in vehicles and machinery driving these exports. Its coastal location and ports help to fuel export growth and international business opportunities. More than 580,000 jobs in South Carolina are also supported by international trade, with new jobs created every day.

Job Creation

  • In South Carolina, 580,100 jobs were supported by international trade in 2019, representing 20.0% of all jobs in the state.1,2
  • In 2020, 6,246 companies exported goods from South Carolina of which 84% were small- and medium-sized enterprises. In 2018, 162,700 people were employed by affiliates of companies at least 50% foreign-owned.3,4

Exports and Growth

  • South Carolina exported $29.7 billion in goods to foreign markets in 2021, a 2% decline compared to 2020 driven by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine on the global economy.5
    • Canada ($4.4 billion)
    • Germany ($4.4 billion)
    • China ($3.7 billion)
    • Mexico ($2.4 billion)
    • South Korea ($1.9 billion)
  • Agricultural exports are important to South Carolina's' economy, totaling $1 billion in 2020, according to the USDA.6
  • Since 2014, the U.S. Export-Import Bank has financed $6 billion in exports from 66 companies in South Carolina.7
  • Since 1992, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency has helped facilitate $63 million in exports from South Carolina companies.9

Education and Research

  • During 2020, 5,907 international students were enrolled in South Carolina colleges and universities and contributed $159 million to the South Carolina economy.10

Global Engagement

  • Since 1961, 1,739 Peace Corps volunteers from South Carolina have served in dozens of countries overseas.11