COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – Governor Henry McMaster said this week that South Carolina leads the nation as the top exporter of tires and completed passenger motor vehicles.

“The world wants what South Carolinians are making, as evidenced by South Carolina’s boost in 2022 trade numbers,” Gov. McMaster said.

Data from the U.S. Department of Commerce show South Carolina’s 2022 export sales totaled $31.5 billion, which is up 6% over 2021.

For the ninth straight year, the Palmetto State remains the national leader when it comes to the export of completed passenger vehicles, with sales topping $10.1 billion. Meanwhile, the state’s export of tires exceeded sales of $1.7 billion for the seventh year in a row.

“From tires to passenger vehicles, our industries are making their mark on the world stage as international markets continue to realize the value and craftsmanship of South Carolina-made goods,” McMaster said.

McMaster’s office reported that Canada was the number one export market for South Carolina-made products and services, accounting for over $4.4 billion in sales.

“South Carolina is as connected to the world as ever, between the year-over-year growth of foreign direct investment and international trade and exports,” said Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III. “International trade is crucial to our state’s economy and sustained economic growth, particularly as our companies expand their product and service offerings to meet global market demands.”

“As the 8th largest U.S. container port, SC Ports serves as South Carolina’s gateway to the world,” said SC Ports President and CEO Barbara Melvin. “We are proud to move cargo for mega retailers, advanced manufacturers, farmers, medical companies, e-commerce sites and small businesses. We consistently invest in world-class port infrastructure to keep freight moving, ensuring SC Ports offers the capacity, reliability and fluidity port-dependent businesses need to thrive.”

South Carolina companies who are looking to expand their global markets are encouraged to explore the state department of commerce’s export initiatives.