Washington was one of 16 states that set a new record for export sales in 2013, according to a new federal report.
Last year Washington exported $81.9 billion in goods, an 8.3 percent increase compared to 2012, according to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Washington ranks fourth-highest among U.S. states, behind Texas, California and New York. U.S. exports totaled $2.3 trillion last year, also a national record.
Whatcom County is one of the main exporting counties in the state. Figures aren't out yet for 2013, but in 2012 this area exported $1.6 billion in goods, trailing the Seattle area ($50.3 billion) and Skagit County ($2 billion).
Much of Whatcom County's exports come from the oil refineries and food manufacturing.
Washington's export sales have grown significantly since 2010, when this state tallied $53.3 billion in goods. Last year China was the biggest purchaser of Washington products, at $16.7 billion, followed by Canada ($8.7 billion), Japan ($7 billion), United Arab Emirates ($4 billion) and Mexico ($3.2 billion).
Transportation, particularly airplanes made by Boeing, topped the list of items exported out of Washington. The transportation category totaled $44.6 billion, more than half of all goods exported out of Washington. Agriculture was next on the list at $10.3 billion, followed by petroleum/coal ($4.7 billion) and computer/electronics ($3.7 billion).
In a news release accompanying the data, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker estimates that for every $1 billion in exports, nearly 5,000 jobs are supported across the U.S.
"Exports will continue to be an important driver of the local and national economy," Pritzker said.