How Well is Florida Exporting?

By: Alice Ancona

 

2.5 million jobs.

That is the number of jobs supported by international trade in Florida. Florida has the third largest trade-related workforce (behind California and Texas respectively) in the country.

According to research from the Florida Chamber’s most recent Trade and Logistics Report and the U.S. International Trade Commission, jobs in export-focused industries like manufacturing and services pay more. In fact, our Trade and Logistics Report also shows export-orienting companies typically grow 15 percent faster, pay 15 percent higher wages and are 12 percent more profitable than domestically focused firms.

Free and Fair Trade

Open markets lead to lower prices and greater prosperity. With 95 percent of the world’s consumers outside of the U.S., Florida’s small business exporters depend on trade deals to help grow their businesses and create jobs. So far, this formula has worked- 37 percent of Florida’s exports are to countries we have a free trade agreement with.

There has also been a:

  • 46 percent increase in Florida exports to Peru since the U.S.-Peru Trade Agreement was implemented in 2009.
  • 188 percent increase in Florida exports to Chile since the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement implemented in 2004.
  • 199 percent increase in exports to Canada and Mexico since NAFTA took effect in 1994.

Creating New Opportunities

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, which were finalized earlier this year, would create one of the largest free-trade zones involving 12 Pacific nations that represent nearly 40 percent of the world’s GDP.

Ports across the state have geared up to prepare for growing Asian trade that could come through the recently expanded Panama Canal. While the canal and port investments are the pathway to greater trade between Florida and Asia, the TPP is the bridge that will truly connect us and help make Florida businesses more competitive in new markets.

 

These discussions and more will be a key part of the conversation at the Florida Chamber’s 2017 International Days, Feb. 14 and 15 in Tallahassee. Be sure to join us by registering today!