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Study highlights importance of international trade in S.C.

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A new study found that international trade supports 555,700 jobs in South Carolina, or one out of every five jobs in the state.

The study was conducted by Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of major U.S. corporations which has promoted pro-business public policy for more than 45 years.

According to the study (.pdf), trade with Canada and Mexico alone supports 173,300 S.C. jobs, with exports to those countries increasing by 445% since the implementation of the North America Free Trade Agreement.

NAFTA, which took effect in 1994, was renegotiated into the revamped United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement last November.

“The CEO members of Business Roundtable, who lead companies with more than 15 million employees, strongly support congressional passage of USMCA-implementing legislation this year,” Tom Linebarger, chairman and CEO of Cummins Inc. and chair of the Business Roundtable Trade & International Committee, said in a news release detailing the study’s findings. “We stand united to preserve and modernize North American trade, which supports over 12 million jobs and a strong U.S. economy.”

In a visit to Columbia in January, Nadia Theodore, the Consul General of Canada, discussed the importance of preserving the strong trade relationship between Canada and the U.S.

The new study, prepared by Trade Partnership Worldwide using 2017 employment data, examined the net effects of exports and imports of goods and services on U.S. jobs in all 50 states.

The study also found that South Carolina exported $7.2 billion in goods and services to Canada and Mexico in 2017 and that goods and services exports accounted for 17.3% of the state’s total gross domestic product.

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