Governor and Cabinet Proclaim May as Florida World Trade Month

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Edie Ousley, 850-521-1231 or 850-251-6261
eousley@flchamber.com

 

 

Florida Chamber, Trade Partners
Champion Trade’s Role in Florida’s Economy

TALLAHASSEE, FL. (May 5, 2015) – Governor Rick Scott and members of the Florida Cabinet today declared May as Florida World Trade Month, presenting a proclamation to the Florida Chamber of Commerce and representatives of the agriculture, manufacturing and ports communities.

“Global trade means high-wage jobs and economic prosperity,” Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber shared with members of the Florida Cabinet, including Governor Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater during the proclamation presentation. “Increasingly, international trade is one of Florida’s top strategies for economic diversification and long-term growth.”

Florida ranks eighth in the United States for “Fresh from Florida” exports of agricultural commodities, valued at an all-time record of $4.2 billion, supporting more than 109,000 jobs and representing an economic value of more than $13 billion. Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam sponsored the Florida World Trade Month proclamation.

Economic Impact of Trade:

According to research from the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Trade and Logistics Study 2.0 (TL2), the importance of international trade cannot be denied:

  • International business and foreign direct investment accounts for approximately 17 percent of Florida’s economic activity, and directly supports more than 1 million Florida jobs,
  • Florida is the seventh largest exporter of state-origin products with Florida-origin exports totaling more than $58.6 billion and exports from Florida supporting 275,221 U.S. jobs in 2013,
  • VISIT FLORIDA numbers show more than 98 million visitors came to Florida in 2014,including more than 11 million overseas visitors  and nearly four million Canadian visitors,
  • Florida has more than 60,000 companies registered to export – more than 95 percent of them  are small-to-medium-sized businesses that produce two-thirds of Florida’s average of $64 billion in goods, and
  • Florida has more than 500,000 jobs in transportation, trade, and logistics – which pay 30 percent more than the statewide average!
  • Since December 2010, more than 21,000 manufacturing jobs have been created in Florida,
  • Florida is the leading U.S. state for trade with Latin America and the Caribbean.

 

Here’s What Others Are Saying
About Florida World Trade Month:

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam

“Our exports have recently reached an all-time high of $4.2 billion, supporting more than 109,000 Florida jobs and contributing more than $13 billion to our state’s economy. International demand for our ‘Fresh From Florida’ products continues to rise, proving that there is nothing better than what we grow right here in Florida.”

Secretary of Transportation Jim Boxold

“The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) joins Governor Scott and our partners in continuing our united efforts to make Florida the global center for freight movement and create jobs and opportunities for Florida families. FDOT will continue to invest in strategic assets that make our state the most competitive in the nation for the movement of people and goods.”

U.S. Representative Vern Buchanan

“The impact of international trade to Florida is undeniable – it’s one of the surest ways to turbo-charge long-term economic development and growth. I am proud to celebrate World Trade Month with the Florida Chamber, whose support of these important partnerships and trade agreements help make the Sunshine State the leader in this effort.”

Doug Wheeler, President and CEO, Florida Ports Council

“International trade is critical not only for Florida’s overall economy but for individual families and communities across the state, as well as visiting consumers. Increasing trade creates jobs and brings a better quality of life to our state.”

Nancy Stephens, Executive Director, Manufacturers Association of Florida

“During World Trade Month, the Manufacturers Association of Florida (MAF) recognizes the critical role international trade plays in boosting our economic growth. We support international trade as an essential part of our business plan ensuring job creation, business growth, and competitive advantages in the global market. In Florida, 1 in 4 manufacturing jobs depend on exports, so MAF works hard to promote trade opportunities with manufacturers to help them export to the 95% of consumers who live outside the United States. Florida has some of the most skilled manufacturers in the country and we look forward to utilizing every trade opportunity available.”

Charlotte Gallogly, World Trade Center Miami

“Our celebration of World Trade Month is targeted at assisting small- to mid-sized companies in Florida to identify new global markets for the sale of their products and services.”

John Hartnett, Endoscopy Replacement Parts, Inc.

“Leveraging and growing trade and logistics opportunities for Florida companies opens many markets for Made in Florida products and services. Committing to Made in Florida business and targeting worldwide expansion strengthens our long-term economic foundation and global brand.”

 

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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.

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

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.