Idaho

Idaho’s 45-mile (72 kilometre) border with British Columbia is among the narrowest of the 13 states that touch Canada. Yet it’s a vital economic connection for the businesses and people of Idaho.

9,700+

jobs supported

$1.3 billion

total exports

$1.2 billion

goods exports

$121 million

services exports

Top goods exports:
  • Mining and metals: $459 million
  • Agriculture and food production: $230 million
  • Chemicals, pesticides and fertilizers: $151 million
Top services exports:
  • Transportation and travel: $52 million
  • Business and professional: $22 million
  • Financial and insurance: $17 million

From minerals and agriculture to semiconductors

Canada buys a third of the goods Idaho sells to the world, making it the top export destination in 2020. The state’s exports are led by minerals such as silver and lead, ammonium-based fertilizer ingredients, semiconductors and various agricultural products, including cattle, dairy products, grains and oilseeds, and potatoes.

In fact Canada bought nearly all of the state’s exports of commodities, such as silver, lead ore and ammonium dihydrogen phosphate (mainly used in fertilizer) in 2020.

Canadian tourists – drawn mainly by outdoor recreation — are also a major economic engine for the state. In 2020, Canadian visitors spent $17 million in Idaho. Tourism is a $3.7 billion industry in the state, employing more than 45,800 people.

Canada, in turn, is a key source of various commodities that power the Idaho economy, including crude oil, chemical wood pulp, lumber, animal feed and fertilizer.

Canadian mining companies are major investors in the state. For example, Vancouver-based Midas Gold is proposing to invest more than $1 billion over a decade to reopen mines in the Stibnite district to produce gold and antimony (used in making semiconductors and other products).

Canadian-owned companies employed 3,200 workers in Idaho in 2018. Among the major employers are Agropur, which has 400 people at its cheese and dairy plant in Jerome, ID, as well as Atlanta Gold Corp., log home maker PrecisionCraft Inc., wood products company Stella-Jones Corp., Air Canada, WestJet and McCain Foods.

What supporters are saying

“More than 1,700 companies in Idaho export goods and services to more than 150 countries around the globe, and the two most accessible and important markets are right next door.”

Governor Brad Little (R-ID), March 25, 2019

“The USMCA is a victory for Idaho and all of America and its signature into law will herald in a new chapter of even greater economic opportunity and success.”

Senator James Risch (R-ID), January 29, 2020

Spotlight on Canadian business

Serving the world French fries with Idaho potatoes

Idaho potatoes are iconic in the U.S. and so it’s no surprise that Canada’s McCain Foods, the world’s largest maker of French fries, would have a major presence in the state.

Toronto-based McCain Foods completed a $200 million expansion of its frozen French fries plant in Burley, ID, in 2019. The expansion of the factory, acquired by McCain in 1997, boosted employment by 180 to roughly 740 employees, and vastly increased its purchases of Idaho potatoes.

The plant is one of 11 that McCain has in the U.S., and 53 worldwide.

Share our story

Idaho potatoes are iconic. So it’s no surprise that @mccainfoods, the world largest producer of fries, has a major presence in the Gem State through @McCainFoodsUSA. Explore how #cdntrade & #usmca support jobs & communities. #FriendsPartnersAllies

Notes:
Top goods exports:
  • Mining and metals: $459 million
  • Agriculture and food production: $230 million
  • Chemicals, pesticides and fertilizers: $151 million
Top services exports:
  • Transportation and travel: $52 million
  • Business and professional: $22 million
  • Financial and insurance: $17 million