World Trade Center Arkansas reported Friday that combined exports to Canada and Mexico amounted to $2.1 billion in goods alone last year, a nearly 14 percent increase from 2016 to 2017.

The two countries received one-third of all Arkansas exports. It’s one of the highest export increases in state history. The information was gathered from state export data recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

“Total exports of goods for Arkansas increased by nearly 11 percent this past year to $6.3 billion,” said Melvin Torres, director of Western Hemisphere Trade at World Trade Center Arkansas. “This is one of the highest increases in the history of the state. The increase was mostly driven by Canada and Mexico’s dramatic increase in imports during 2017.”

Canada and Mexico are Arkansas’ largest trading partners by billions of dollars, and trade with the two countries supports more than 110,000 jobs, the Arkansas World Trade Center states.

Mexico buys 26 percent of all agriculture goods exported from Arkansas.

Top exports to Canada include agriculture goods, machinery and equipment; Canada imports 18 percent of its agriculture goods from Arkansas. Arkansas exports significantly more to both countries than it imports, meaning it enjoys an extraordinary positive trade balance, according to Torres.

“Last year was an extraordinary year for Arkansas exports to NAFTA countries,” Torres added. “Overall, exports to Canada and Mexico have increased by 400 percent and 700 percent respectively since NAFTA was implemented in 1994. This latest data release shows that the Arkansas economy depends substantially on NAFTA exports.”

According to the latest data reports from the Census Bureau, 2017 exports from Arkansas to Mexico reached the highest point since 2014. Year-over-year exports to Mexico of goods increased by nearly 24 percent from $685 million to $847 million. Arkansas exports to Mexico are increasing 3.6 times faster than exports to any other country.

Top exports to Canada include agriculture goods, machinery and equipment; Canada imports 18 percent of its agriculture goods from Arkansas. Arkansas exports significantly more to both countries than it imports, meaning it enjoys an extraordinary positive trade balance, according to Torres.