By Dan Catchpole
Aerospace sales to foreign customers helped Washington set a new record last year for state exports — a combined $81.9 billion in goods and services sold to international buyers, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
In all, 16 states set new export records, helping set a new national high of $2.3 trillion.
Washington’s exports increased 8.4 percent over the previous year.
That growth in 2013 was driven by an 18 percent increase over the previous year in aerospace sales — worth $43.6 billion.
Other top Washington exports include fuel, industrial machinery, wheat, electric machinery, medical instruments and wood, according to a news release from the state Department of Commerce.
In all, 12,677 companies in Washington were involved in exporting, according to U.S. Commerce Department data.
Washington had the fourth-most exports in the nation last year.
“With at least one in three jobs in Washington related to international trade, creating a culture of exporting is a key pillar of our economic development agenda,” state Commerce Department Director Brian Bonlender said in the news release.
The other states setting export records were Texas ($279.7 billion); California ($168.1 billion); Louisiana ($63.1 billion); Michigan ($58.5 billion); Ohio ($50.5 billion); Georgia ($37.6 billion); Tennessee ($32.4 billion); North Carolina ($29.3 billion); South Carolina ($26.1 billion); Kentucky ($25.3 billion); Connecticut ($16.5 billion); Mississippi ($12.4 billion); Maryland ($11.8 billion); Colorado ($8.7 billion); and Oklahoma ($6.9 billion).