China is currently North Dakota's 10th largest trade partner, but
the state is working on moving that nation up in the ranks. In 1999,
North Dakota exported nearly $4.4 million in goods to China, more
than double the amount 10 years ago, but still a far cry from the
$345 million that went to its largest trade partner, Canada.
Gov. Ed Schafer and some North Dakota business leaders went to
Beijing last fall, in hopes of spurring stronger trade. The trip
also coincided with the U.S. Senate's vote to normalize trade relations
Following the trip, a business roundtable on China was held in
Bismarck to discuss trade potential and featured a representative
of the Export-Import Bank, which offers U.S. companies export credit
insurance. The state's Department of Economic Finance and Development
plans to submit an aggressive budget to promote more international
trade with China.