Florida Chamber Rallies for Job Creators During 2018 D.C. Fly-In

Members of the Florida Chamber of Commerce recently traveled to Washington, D.C. for a three-day “Fly-In” supporting private-sector job creation, regulatory reform, creating opportunities for economic prosperity and emphasizing the importance of trade to job creation in Florida.

Led by Florida Chamber Chair Bob Grammig, Partner, Holland & Knight, LLP, Stan Connally, Jr., Chair, Florida Chamber of Commerce Policy Council; Chairman, President & CEO, Gulf Power Company and Will Weatherford, Chair, Florida Chamber of Commerce Political Council; Managing Partner, Weatherford Capital, Florida Chamber members participated in an in-depth briefing with Florida’s Congressional Delegation, as well as one-on-one meetings with various members of Congress.

One of the highlights from the 2018 D.C. Fly-In was dinner with Congressman Tom Rooney, who recently announced he will be retiring from the U.S. House of Representatives after serving in Congress for 10 years. Congressman Rooney was honored for his accomplished career in Congress. The dinner was sponsored by Darden Restaurants, Inc.

Florida Chamber members also attended a reception with Florida’s Congressional delegation during which Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, retiring after nearly three decades in Congress, and Congressman Dennis Ross, who is retiring after eight years in Congress, were honored for their many years of service and dedication to Florida’s business community.

This year’s event also featured dinner with former Florida Chamber Chair, Congressman Vern Buchanan, who sits on the Ways and Means Committee which has jurisdiction over international trade and taxation policy.

Florida Chamber members pictured during meetings with members of Florida’s Congressional Delegation.

Additionally, Florida Chamber members met with Daniel Mulhall, Irish Ambassador to the U.S., during which Ambassador Mulhall provided insight on opportunities in Ireland for Florida businesses. The Florida Chamber’s upcoming business development and trade mission to Dublin, Ireland and London, U.K. was also discussed.

A meeting also took place with Grover Burthey, U.S. Department of Transportation Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy. The discussion included the Trump administration’s focus on infrastructure and how it ties-in with Florida’s economic growth opportunities.

Florida Chamber members meet with Daniel Mulhall, Irish Ambassador to the U.S. and Grover Burthey, U.S. Department of Transportation Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy.

The Florida Chamber’s Federal Advocacy team will be traveling to Washington, D.C. again for additional meetings with Florida’s Congressional Delegation to ensure Florida’s business community continues to be heard. For details, please contact Daniel Tapia at dtapia@flchamber.com or (850) 521-1206.

Get Involved

Click here to learn more about how the Florida Chamber advocates at all levels of government – local, state and federal to ensure Florida is moving in the right direction, and Florida businesses like yours are being heard on the issues that matter to them. To get onnected, contact Dan Tapia at dtapia@flchamber.com or (850) 521-1206.

Solidifying Florida’s Role in Trade and Logistics


Download One Pager    Learn More Our International Program    Trade & Logistics 2.0 Report


Why It Matters to Florida

If Florida were a country, we would have the 16th largest economy in the world. Florida is not just competing with other states, we are competing with other countries. This speaks to the need to continuing to focus on diversifying our economy and markets of opportunity is an important strategy for success and continued growth. Florida is well positioned to not only benefit from international trade but play a pivotal role in new and emerging trade lanes. Eighty percent of the world’s purchasing power, 90 percent of economic growth, and 95 percent of consumers will live outside of U.S. borders. By 2030:

  • The volume of global goods trade and the value of services trade is expected to nearly double.
  • The world’s population will increase to 8.4 billion.

Florida’s GDP is fueled by trade. Florida is the seventh-largest export state in the U.S., with $52 billion in exports originating from Florida in 2016. Exporting is big business in Florida – 60,000 Florida companies export and we have the second highest concentration of exporters behind California. Economic development in areas such as international trade, sea port, manufacturing, aerospace, aviation and other targeted clusters is tied directly to innovation, diversification and how well Florida can adapt to growing and changing trends.

Florida’s Competitiveness Agenda

According to the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Trade and Logistics 2.0 Report, Florida can create more than 150,000 high-wage jobs by growing manufacturing, exports and trade and logistics. In order to take advantage of changing trade routes, a historic expansion of the Panama Canal, and targeted infrastructure investments, we must continue to leverage and grow opportunities.

Strengthening Florida’s rapidly growing manufacturing industry will be the key to ensuring a robust global future. The Florida Chamber supports initiatives that encourage growth in the manufacturing, trade and logistics industries as well as assist Florida companies be more competitive and have greater access in the global marketplace. The Florida Chamber will also continue to support strategic investments in our trade infrastructure, work to build a “talent supply chain” for trade, logistics and manufacturing workers and ensure an ongoing strategic presence in Washington, D.C. – advocating and positioning Florida for a leadership role at the federal level.

The Fight for Free Enterprise Continues

In order to become the number one state in the nation for innovation and economic development, we must continue to attract and retain high-skilled talent, target growing industries and continue to work toward the recommendations set forth in the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Trade and Logistics 2.0 Report.

Act Now

Learn how you can become involved in the Florida Chamber’s International efforts by contacting Alice Ancona at aancona@flchamber.com and Dan Tapia at dtapia@flchamber.com or visit www.FloridaChamber.com/InternationalProgram.

International Trade Essential to Florida’s Economy


Washington, D. C. Fly-In   Learn More About International Trade


As Congress and President Donald Trump’s administration consider the future of trade, the Florida Chamber of Commerce encourages leaders to consider the important role trade plays in Florida’s economy.

From its discovery, Florida has been global. Much of what made Florida a destination and gateway in Florida’s early years, still holds true today. Florida’s current and future economy is tied to its ability to be a successful hub for international trade investment.

Florida’s geography, diversity and international linkages, combined with our state-of-the-art infrastructure, trade support networks, knowledge-based innovation ecosystem and highly skilled workforce, are assets that make Florida ripe for trade.

Today, if Florida were a country, it would be the 16th largest in the world by gross domestic product. Free and fair trade is essential to Florida’s global competitiveness, and policies that enhance competition in the global marketplace, reduce or eliminate trade and investment barriers will further grow Florida jobs.

In the coming days, a delegation of members from the Florida Chamber of Commerce will travel to Washington, D.C. to encourage Florida’s Congressional Delegation to support Florida job creators, and to work to ensure that trade continues to benefit the U.S. and Floridians.

With one out of four jobs in Florida tied to international trade, these will be important conversations and go a long way to helping secure Florida’s future.

To Trade or Not To Trade

The Florida Chamber of Commerce was in Washington, D.C. recently addressing many issues including international trade. Trade and free trade agreements were one of the key issues during the presidential campaign. President-elect Trump was particularly emphatic in his opposition to the TPP and his calls for a review of NAFTA as well as our trade relationship with China.

For decades, free trade agreements have been part of our economic tool kit  and international trade is one of the leading factors attributed to Florida’s economic recovery. Two and a half million Floridians are employed thanks to international trade. Our record-breaking tourism numbers benefit from international visitors and there are thousands of foreign companies operating in Florida that employ Floridians.


So What Happens Now?

It is all but certain that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is no longer on the table. Our partners in the region still hope to revive trade talks with the U.S. and many are willing to reopen TPP and make revisions which might make it more palatable to the new administration. This weekend at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit in Lima, Peru, the future of trade and the role the U.S. would play in Asia was a top concern. China and Russia issued a statement that they will push for a free-trade area in the Asia-Pacific region. Neither country was part of the TPP.

China is pushing to finalize its parallel free trade agreement in Asia, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which includes all the ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries plus Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, India, but it currently excludes the U.S.


Not Anti-Trade. Pro “Good Deals.”

From our meetings in Washington, D.C., it was clear that it was too soon to tell regarding the fate of many trade issues. Reviewing trade policy will be one of the first tasks tackled by the new administration. Re-negotiating and/or withdrawing from NAFTA as well as pulling the plug on TPP were at the top of the list. Trade would not be off the table completely however, and there is a greater appetite for bilateral trade agreements over the larger multi-nation deals like TPP. Should the U.S. withdraw from NAFTA, the new administration has proposed it would negotiate separate bilateral deals with Mexico and Canada. China and currency manipulation were also topics discussed in D.C.

It is also important to note that in 2015, Congress granted the President Trade Promotion Authority – or “fast track” – power for the President to negotiate trade agreements and move them more swiftly through Congress until 2018 and it could be extended until 2021.


Fair Trade, Not Just Free Trade – Leveling the Playing Field

Much like during the campaign, the new administration has outlined that they will be working to ensure agreements are enforced and that our trade partners are not engaging in “harmful” practices. They will also be reviewing country of origin labeling and environmental and safety standards, as well as considering the impacts trade policy has on the middle class, manufacturing and workers, and foreign direct investment.

The Florida Chamber will continue to monitor developments and we will be working in the in the best interest of Florida’s businesses to support trade agreements that help our exporters access the global market place and provide our workers access to high-wage jobs.

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!

WATCH: Florida Chamber President Urges Congress to Begin Breaking The Cycle of Generational Poverty Through Economic Opportunity


Read the Congressional Testimony


“The battle of this generation is between economic equality and economic opportunity – between those who believe that everyone is entitled to prosperity and those who believe everyone is entitled to the opportunity to succeed,” said MARK WILSON, President and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 1, 2016) – While voters in 11 states are casting ballots for their preferred presidential candidate today, Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce took to Capitol Hill to encourage the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Human Resources to seek ways to end generational poverty by lifting up Americans through economic opportunity instead of entitlements.

Watch the Full Testimony by Mark Wilson, President and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce


Congressman Vern Buchanan asks, “What Can Florida do?”

Pushing Back Against Overreaching Federal Regulations

Florida Chamber Holds Washington, D.C. ‘Fly-In’ to Meet With Lawmakers/Federal Officials

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 9 , 2015) – With job creators facing a tidal wave of overreaching federal regulations, the Florida Chamber of Commerce this week is leading a delegation of board members on a “Washington, D.C. Fly-In,” meeting with members of Florida’s Congressional delegation – urging their support of job creators and pushing back against burdensome regulations.

Overreaching federal regulations is the number one concern of Florida Chamber members and partners, according to its latest Florida Business Agenda survey.

“Florida companies are increasingly concerned about the tsunami of federal regulations headed their way,” said David Hart, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber.

“The Florida Chamber’s Washington, D.C. Fly-In allows our members and partners to serve as citizen lobbyists, side-by-side with our professional advocacy team, to further strengthen the voice of Florida’s business community and to say enough is enough when it comes to overreaching federal regulations.”

In recent weeks, the Florida Chamber has officially opposed numerous overreaching federal regulations, including:

• EPA’s Waters of the U. S. Rule
• EPA’s Ozone Regulations Rule
• EPA’s Clean Power Plan Rule
• Department of Labor’s Overtime Rule

The Florida Chamber’s Washington, D.C. Fly-In includes meetings with:

• Congresswoman Corrine Brown
• Congressman Vern Buchanan
• Congressman Carlos Curbelo
• Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart
• Congressman David Jolly
• Congresswoman Ileana Ros Lehtinen
• Congressman Daniel Webster
• U.S. Chamber of Commerce
• U.S. Department of Agriculture

During the two-days of meetings, the Florida Chamber team also discussed:

• Reauthorizing Ex-Im Bank
• Transportation reauthorization (related to surface transportation)
• International trade

Spearheading this Florida Chamber advocacy opportunity are Alice Ancona, Director of Global Outreach, and Drew Preston, Chief of Staff & Vice President, Office of the President.


The Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations, aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.