Minn. exports set second straight annual record

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Minnesota exports of agricultural, mining and manufactured goods grew 1.2 percent to a record $20.6 billion last year, an increase of $246 million over the year before, according to figures released Wednesday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

"Minnesota exports have been on a record-setting pace for more than two years and have contributed to new jobs and investment in our state,” DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben said in a news release. “This growth signifies an opportunity for Minnesota and Minnesota businesses, and it is critical that we continue to build on this success.”

Canada was Minnesota's largest trading partner, with sales climbing 2.7 percent to $6 billion, the Star Tribune reports. Other top export markets included China at $2.5 billion, up 7.1 percent; Mexico at $1.3 billion, up 6.7 percent; and South Korea at $707 million, up 0.8 percent.

The Pioneer Press notes Minnesota's exports to Asia were down 3 percent.

The state’s top export product was machinery, which accounted for $4 billion in sales, up 2.2 percent from the previous year. Other major exports were medical equipment and vehicles.

Last year, Gov. Mark Dayton announced the MSP Export Initiative, a new trade strategy aiming to double Twin Cities exports by 2017.

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