Officials: Idaho exports look good
BOISE- Idaho’s trade prospects look good for the coming year, Department of Commerce officials and international trade representatives told the House Commerce and Human Resources Committee on Tuesday.
At around $6 billion a year, exports from Idaho’s growers and businesses contribute a significantamount to the state economy. So, healthy exports are good news.
“We’re actually really excited about it,” Commerce director Jeff Sayer said. “We saw a slight dip in exports this year over last year. It was primarily driven by the semiconductor industry, which we don’t have a lot of control over. So we focus mainly on the sectors that we can influence, like the timber industry and the agricultural industry.” And much of that growth may be captured by small businesses, Sayer said.
“We’re seeing small industry sectors come together and go overseas,” he said. “They’re working together to try to expand themselves into new markets.”
Still, exports likely will face some headwinds this year. The dollar has been rising sharply in value relative to the currencies of America’s trading pa1tners- about 11 percent since .July, according to Federal Reserve data.