While Idaho's reputation is based on independence, our finances seem to tell a bit of a different story. International markets suddenly make up a significant part of the Gem State's wealth. Trade and investment from other countries have become crucial to our growth and employment, and you might be surprised to learn what countries contribute the most.

How many Idaho jobs are paid for by other countries?

Believe it or not, in 2018, other countries supported 208,900 jobs in the state. That's one in every five jobs. The total goods exported amounted to $4.1 billion, with services adding another $1.7 billion. Investors and consumers from over 160 countries and territories are doing business with Idaho products and services, including everything from semiconductors to grains to travel services.

How much international trade does Idaho do?

Foreign countries are primarily responsible for the state's economic boom. In 2018 alone, $1.8 billion worth of exports, which is 43% of the state's total, went to other countries as part of free trade agreements.

What countries buy the most stuff from Idaho?

Canada, Taiwan, and China purchase billions of dollars worth of goods and services from Idaho and fuel employment. In 2018, Idaho shipped $928 million in goods to Canada, making it our largest export market, followed by Taiwan ($675 million) and China ($418 million).

What is Idaho's main international export?

While Idaho is known for potatoes, our largest export category is actually computer and electronic products.  Food products are second, followed by chemicals, machinery, and transportation equipment.

Who benefits the most from Idaho's international trade?

It's not the biggest companies benefiting most from foreign money. It's the small and medium-sized businesses that do the most international trade. A lot of these companies would no longer exist without doing business with other countries, which is why these countries have unexpectedly become so important.

These 10 Countries Contribute The Most To Idaho's Economy

According to the 2021 data provided by the State of Idaho, these ten countries buy the most exports from Idaho. While we don't have specific data from each country, we know that the majority of these items were from the following categories:

  • Food and Agriculture - With over $1 billion in exports in 2021, this category leads the export list and could include potatoes, dairy, and other agricultural produce.
  • Electrical Equipment and Machinery - Likely includes semiconductors and other high-tech manufacturing components.
  • Mining Products - Items could range from precious metals to other mineral-related resources.
  • Chemicals, Fertilizers, and Cosmetics - These can encompass a variety of chemical products used in agriculture, industry, personal care, and other sectors.
  • Transportation Equipment - Idaho may export parts or components related to the transportation industry.

Gallery Credit: Marco

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