Trump’s Tariffs Could Spark Trade War, Florida Chamber Warns

The statewide pro-business group warns of a negative impact on Florida as a global trade hub.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce, a statewide business group closely aligned with Gov. Rick Scott, warned Tuesday that new tariffs could spark a trade war and hurt Florida jobs and families.

President Donald Trump has proposed steel and aluminum tariffs on some of America’s closest allies, including Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

“The increasing prospect of a trade war could put Florida’s economy at risk and negatively impact consumers, families and jobs,” the Chamber warned in a statement. The group said unfair trade practices by “bad actors” are best addressed “in a targeted and focused manner.”

“Extending the tariffs to our allies and trade and investment partners is triggering harmful targeted retaliation,” the group said.

 

Read the complete article in the Tampa Bay Times’ The Buzz.

Trade Report from U.S. International Trade Commission

Shifts in U.S. Merchandise Trade, 2016 is now available on the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) web site.

The report focuses on changes in U.S. exports and imports with respect to ten sectors (agriculture, footwear, forestry, textiles, electronics, minerals, transport, chemicals, energy, and machinery) and bi-lateral trade with eight trading partners and/or regions (Canada, Mexico, the NAFTA area, China, the European Union, Asia, OPEC, and sub-Saharan Africa).

 

Take Aways for Top U.S Trading Partners in 2016 

European Union (EU) as a regional trading block continues to be the U.S.’s largest merchandise trade (imports + exports) partner accounting for 18.9 percent of total U.S. merchandise trade.

  • EU became the top ranking U.S. export market in 2016, surpassing Canada, which had ranked as the largest export market in 2015.
  • Leading U.S. exports to the EU included civilian aircraft, engines, and parts; medicaments (medicines); blood fractions (e.g., antiserum) and refined petroleum products
  • Leading U.S. imports were passenger motor vehicles, medicaments, blood fractions, refined petroleum products, and parts of turbojets or turbopropellers.
  • The EU was also the United States’ largest trading partner in terms of private services in 2016, accounting for 32.8 percent of total U.S. trade in private services (services exports).

 

China, for the second year in a row China remained the United States’ largest single-country trading partner based on two-way merchandise trade, accounting for 15.9 percent of total U.S. merchandise trade.

  • China was the United States’ fourth-largest single-country trading partner based on two-way services trade of $69.0 billion. U.S. services trade with China continued to increase in 2016, with particularly strong growth in U.S. exports, which resulted in a $4.2 billion increase (to $37.0 billion) in the U.S. services trade surplus with China.
  • S. merchandise trade deficit with China decreased $20.1 billion in 2016, it remained higher than that with any other trading partner.
  • Leading U.S. exports to China in 2016 were civilian aircraft, engines, and parts; soybeans; passenger motor vehicles; processors and controllers; and machines for semiconductor or integrated circuit manufacturing.
  • Leading U.S. imports from China were cellphones; portable computers and tablets; telecommunications equipment; tricycles, scooters, and related toys; and computer parts and accessories.

 

Canada was the United States’ second-largest single-country trading partner after China for the second consecutive year accounting for 14.9 percent of total U.S. merchandise trade with the world.

  • The value of U.S. merchandise trade with Canada fell 5.7 percent to $544.0 billion in 2016, U.S. exports to Canada were $266.0 billion in 2016, while U.S. merchandise imports from Canada were $278.1 billion.
  • Leading U.S. exports to Canada in 2016 included passenger motor vehicles; motor vehicles for goods transport; civilian aircraft, engines, and parts; and light petroleum oils.
  • Top U.S. imports from Canada included crude petroleum, passenger motor vehicles, natural gas, and coniferous sawn wood.
  • Canada remained the second-largest single-country U.S. trading partner for services in 2016, after the United Kingdom. Two-way services trade with Canada fell in 2016 to $83.0 billion, while the U.S. surplus in services narrowed to $24.4 billion, down 10.9 percent from $27.4 billion the year before.

Click here to visit The Florida Scorecard to Learn More About Imports and Exports in Florida.

Dr. Jerry Parrish Discusses Brexit Impact on Tourism with International Panelists

Dr. Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist for the Florida Chamber Foundation, today joined a University of South Florida (USF) panel with international experts to discuss the impact Brexit will have on global tourism.

The morning after the historic vote by the UK to exit the European Union, Dr. Parrish released an analysis on the possible impacts Brexit would have on Florida’s economy, particularly Florida’s tourism economy.

“In 2015, more than 1.7 million U.K. visitors came to Florida- that’s about 40 percent of Florida’s European visitors and about 15 percent of all of Florida’s overseas visitors. In fact, visitors from the U.K. make up the largest non-Canadian visitor group Florida has. International visitors spend more and stay longer, and leave more sales and other tax dollars in our state. With more than $89 billion spent by visitors in 2015 in taxable sales, this is a substantial contributor to Florida’s general revenue,” said Dr. Parrish.

Hosted by Dr. Cihan Cobanoglu, McKibbon Endowed Chair Professor and Director of the M3 Hospitality Research Center at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, the panel also included Dimitrios Buhalis, Head of the Department of Tourism and Hospitality at Bournemouth University in England, and Kevin Kaley of Tourism UK Ltd.

Florida Chamber Analysis on the Impact of Brexit

“Brexit will cause volatility in financial markets, will likely slow down the number of U.K. visitors to Florida and reduce foreign direct investment in our state…but there is good news for Florida’s imports.”

Florida Chamber’s Chief Economist Dr. Jerry Parrish

 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (June 24, 2016) – The Florida Chamber of Commerce today released the following statement from Dr. Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist for the Florida Chamber Foundation, regarding the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union.

“On Monday, I taped a segment for the Florida Chamber’s monthly Florida by the Numbers about the vote and the potential effects on the Florida economy if the U.K. voted to leave. Florida’s tourism from the U.K. will likely be affected because the expected decrease in the value of the British Pound will make travel to Florida more expensive for U.K. residents.

“In 2015, more than 1.7 million U.K. visitors came to Florida- that’s about 40 percent of Florida’s European visitors and about 15 percent of all of Florida’s overseas visitors. In fact, visitors from the U.K. make up the largest non-Canadian visitor group Florida has. International visitors spend more and stay longer, and leave more sales and other tax dollars in our state. With more than $89 billion spent by visitors in 2015 in taxable sales, this is a substantial contributor to Florida’s general revenue.

“The vote by the U.K. to leave the European Union will also have the immediate effects of increasing volatility in financial markets, and that could lead to reduced foreign direct investment in Florida. We know from history that increases in uncertainty and volatility typically have negative effects on investment and trade.

“Although the drop in the value of the British Pound will likely slow down U.K. visitors to Florida and reduce foreign direct investment in our state, there is good news for Florida’s imports. Imports from the U.K. should now become cheaper. Currently, Florida imports twice as much as it exports to the U.K.

“The value of the Euro compared to the U.S. dollar is likely to fall as well. Florida’s imports from Europe made up 23 percent of the total imports in 2015 – totaling $16.9 billion. Those imports should become less expensive as the Euro falls in value versus the U.S. dollar.”

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