North Carolina

Re-Energizing the Textile Industry

In 2011, Canada’s Richelieu Group— now named PEDS Legwear— invested $7 million in Burke County’s International Legwear, a sock manufacturing company. That initial investment saved 45 jobs. The Canadian company has since upgraded its sewing machines, and found new buyers for its products. PEDS plans to invest $16 million and create more than 200 jobs at the facility as it ramps up production and finds new customers for this made-in-North Carolina brand.

PEDS’ efforts received special recognition when its CEO Michael Penner was among three executives invited to participate in a White House Roundtable on business development, an event showcasing the success of foreign investment to senior business and government leaders. At the event, President Obama remarked “It’s not just big corporations or billion-dollar investments that make a difference.”

Taking Flight in North Carolina

Canada is a world leader in drone technology, and thanks to the North Carolina presence of Canadian start-up PrecisionHawk, that innovation continues. PrecisionHawk develops drones for agricultural data collection. It also holds exclusive licenses and research and development exemptions from the FAA.

PrecisionHawk’s strategic move to North Carolina has positioned the company to leverage the state’s vast farmlands for testing drones and connecting with the state’s agricultural industry leaders. Given the $556 million in bilateral agricultural trade between Canada and North Carolina, the company is well-positioned to become an important industry ally.

North Carolina–Canada trade

  • North Carolina exports to Canada: $6.8 billion
  • North Carolina imports from Canada: $3.5 billion
  • Bilateral trade: $10.3 billion
  • North Carolina services exports to Canada: $1.4 billion

North Carolina–Canada tourism

  • North Carolina visits by Canadians: 720,500
  • North Carolina vacation spending by Canadians: $171 million

North Carolina’s top goods exports to Canada

  • Tractors: $568 million
  • Medicine, in dosage: $379 million
  • Optical, medical & precision instruments: $331 million
  • Motor vehicle parts: $318 million
  • Engines & turbines: $289 million

North Carolina’s top goods imports from Canada

  • Plastics & plastic articles: $394 million
  • Softwood lumber: $251 million
  • Paper & paperboard: $192 million
  • Aircraft: $192 million
  • Medicine, in dosage: $126 million

North Carolina exports to Canada by industry

  • Equipment & machinery (35%)
  • Transportation (20%)
  • Chemicals (12%)
  • Minerals & metals (6%)
  • Apparel & textiles (6%)
  • Plastics & rubbers (5%)
  • Other (15%)

North Carolina imports from Canada by industry

  • Equipment & machinery (18%)
  • Forest products (15%)
  • Plastics & rubbers (13%)
  • Chemicals (11%)
  • Transportation (9%)
  • Agriculture (7%)
  • Other (26%)

North Carolina Jobs

  • 247,500 North Carolina jobs depend on trade and investment with Canada

North Carolina top services exports to Canada

  • Travel: $485 million
  • Transportation services: $248 million
  • Royalties & license fees: $233 million
  • Financial services: $221 million
  • Business, professional & technical services: $147 million


  • 247,500 jobs in North Carolina depend on Canada–U.S. trade and investment
  • Canada is North Carolina’s #1 customer
  • Total Canada–North Carolina goods trade: $10.3 billion

Connect to our team

For more information on North Carolina’s trade with Canada, please contact our trade team in Atlanta.

September 2016
Unless otherwise mentioned, all figures are based on 2015 data in U.S. dollars. Statistics Canada: 2014 tourism, based on combined same-day and overnight travel (8/2016 release, US$1.00=C$1.1045). U.S. Census Bureau: goods trade, Canada’s export ranking (2/2016 release). U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis: goods and services trade (3/2016 release). Trade Partnership: 2014 services trade (11/2015 release). Job numbers are from a study commissioned by the Government of Canada (11/2014 release, 2013 data). Figures may not add up due to rounding. Produced by the Embassy of Canada in Washington, D.C.