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Does exporting your products to overseas customers seem like a task best suited for major corporations with a deep bench of resources? If so, think again: more than 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the United States, and entering new markets is the strongest step to take today to ensure business growth tomorrow.

South Carolina is one of the nation’s leading exporters. Goods sent to foreign markets include vehicles and parts; aircraft; nuclear reactors/boilers, machinery and parts; rubber and plastics. In fact, the state exports more than 35% of American-made exported tires and ranks #1 in exports of tires and completed passenger motor vehicles.

Within the state, 5,300 small and medium sized goods exporters account for 84 percent of exporters and 11.2 percent of goods export value. For the 10th consecutive year, the Palmetto state has set a record for total export sales in 2019, growing by 19.7 percent from the previous year. The state had the 11th-highest export total in 2019.

Looking to join these ranks, but unsure where to start? You can leverage our network of partners with international trade expertise and the know-how to gain access to foreign markets.

South Carolina International Trade Coalition

The International Trade Coalition includes federal, state and private organizations that are involved in promoting and supporting international trade activities. Together, these resources can provide the following:

  • Export training
  • Customized market research
  • Country market and sector information
  • Foreign company background checks
  • Market entry strategy
  • Matchmaking meetings: pre-qualification of agents, distributors, partners, customers
  • Pricing and competitive analysis
  • Product review and company assessment
  • Regulatory, customs, logistics, certification information
  • Trade show and trade mission assistance
  • Service referrals
  • Other export counseling services

Click here for more information on the SC International Trade Coalition.

South Carolina District Export Council

The South Carolina District Export Council (SCDEC) is an organization of leaders from the local business community whose knowledge of international business provides a source of professional advice for local firms.

The SCDEC works closely with the Columbia, Greenville and Charleston U.S. Export Assistance Center of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Commercial Service to help South Carolina businesses succeed in the global economy by providing:

  • Counseling and mentoring
  • Educational seminars
  • Awareness of export opportunities
  • Information on key issues affecting U.S. and South Carolina industry competitiveness in the global marketplace.

Upstate SC Alliance Export Services

Calling upon the trade experience and expertise of our partners in the legal, logistics, finance, and other support industries for exporting activities, the Upstate SC Alliance and our partners are working together toward: Aligning and Strengthening the Export Support System; Driving Participation in Exporting; and Heightening Global Awareness for the role of exports in our economic vitality.

Our Upstate team serves as a resource and sounding board for companies looking to increase their export activities and as a conduit to export service providers. Let us know if we can connect you to these resources.

Export Incentives

The South Carolina Department of Commerce provides export incentives through the State Trade & Export Promotion (STEP) program and the S.C. Opportunities for Promoting Exports (SCOPE) program, which assist small and medium sized businesses with entering new markets or increasing their export activities. Over the last five years, these two programs have generated approximately $101 million in export sales, helping South Carolina companies sell products to more than 63 countries around the globe.

Looking to take the next step toward reaching new markets? Contact us today.