Did You Know More Than $60 Billion in Florida Goods Exported Each Year?

By: Melissa Roberts

For the past three years, Florida has exported an average of $64 billion in goods sourced in our state.  Florida has more than 60,000 companies registered to export, and more than 95 percent of our state’s exporters are small-to-medium-sized businesses that produce two-thirds of Florida’s total export value.  These exports include large amounts of civilian aircraft, engines and parts as well as electronic goods, scrap gold and phosphates, which are used to fertilize crops.

The top customers for Florida exports (2013) are:

  1. Canada  $5.4 billion
  2. Brazil  $5.3 billion
  3. Switzerland $3.4 billion
  4. Colombia $3.3 billion
  5. Venezuela $3.2 billion

Other countries also receive substantial Florida exports each year, with Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Peru and the Dominican Republic continually topping the list of counties with Florida exports. Germany is the top European country for Florida exports, along with Hong Kong, Ecuador, China, the U.K., Costa Rica, the Bahamas and Japan each receiving more than $1 billion in Florida exports yearly.

“Global trade is an important part of not only our business, but also Florida’s future,” said John Hartnett, Vice President of Global Business Development at Endoscopy Replacement Parts. “The boost Florida companies receive to compete worldwide positions them in helping Florida further develop international business, help our diversification, and help create more jobs in our state.”

The impact of international trade and exports for Florida’s economy cannot be denied. Many Florida exporters receive financing and insurance help to conduct business when commercial lending is not available. Exporters often use the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank, which is the United State’s official export credit agency.  Ex-Im Bank supports businesses in the U.S. through financing or insuring payment for exports for companies shipping U.S. made goods to foreign countries. When Florida businesses use the program, it helps Florida’s positive trade balance, helps create jobs for Floridians and helps diversify Florida’s economy.

A breakdown of Florida’s companies who have used Ex-Im Bank services shows:

  • 879 total exporters equaling $5 billion in shipments,
  • 668 are small businesses,
  • 168 are minority owned, and
  • 60 are women owned.

Helping Florida manufacturers compete in world markets helps create high-wage jobs. When Florida companies create each new export-oriented manufacturing job, two additional jobs are created in logistics, business services and retail. Additionally, expanding the customer base for Florida manufacturers helps Florida companies diversify their businesses, while helping diversify Florida’s economy.

But recent federal legislation has put Ex-Im Bank at risk and instead of reauthorizing Ex-Im for the long-term, Congress’ solution only reauthorized Ex-Im until June 30, 2015.

According to Alice Ancona, Director of Global Outreach for the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the loss of Ex-Im could hurt Florida companies.

“To secure Florida’s future, and prevent Florida jobs from going to foreign competitors, the Florida Chamber of Commerce supports reauthorizing Ex-Im. Ex-Im is particularly important to small-and-medium-sized businesses; those businesses account for more than 85 percent of transactions. In the past five years alone, Ex-Im has helped more than 600 Florida small businesses, 168 of which are minority owned, with export finance — a $6 billion value in Florida-based exports,” Ancona explained.

Share Your Story:

How is your business engaged in exporting Florida-origin products? Share your story by contacting the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Chief Economist Jerry Parrish at jparrish@flfoundation.org.

About the Florida Scorecard Did You Know:

The Florida Scorecard, located at www.TheFloridaScorecard.com, presents metrics across Florida’s economy. Each month, the Florida Chamber Foundation produces a Scorecard Stat that takes an in-depth look at one aspect of Florida’s economy. If you would like additional information on the Weekly Scorecard Stat or on the Florida Scorecard, please contact Dr. Jerry Parrish with the Florida Chamber Foundation at 850.521.1283 or jparrish@flfoundation.org. You can also follow the Florida Chamber Foundation on Twitter at @FLChamberFDN.