ACTION ALERT: U.S. Senate Set to Discuss Free Trade Bill This Week

Your Voice is Needed Now!

The United States Senate has indicated they will hear arguments this week on recently-filed legislation that would renew the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). The Florida Chamber supports renewing the TPA, which is essential to creating high-wage jobs and opening new markets for Florida’s exporters.

Click here to read the bill.  Join us in urging members of Congress to support the TPA.

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In a recent statement of support, Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber said:

“Increasingly, international trade is one of Florida’s top strategies for economic diversification and long-term growth.  Leveraging and growing trade opportunities that build bridges to more markets for ‘Made in Florida’ products and services around the world is essential. Free Trade Agreements help provide greater access to new markets for Florida exporters by reducing trade barriers. The renewal of the Trade Promotion Authority is essential to our continued success as a global hub for trade.”

We Need Your Support!

Contact your member of Congress and voice your support for the renewal of the TPA!

Florida’s Agriculture Industry Benefits from International Trade

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

 

TALLAHASSEE, FL. (May 12, 2015) – Nine of the top 10 markets for Florida agricultural exports are located in the Americas, according to research from the Florida Chamber’s Global Florida Program.

“The Americas present a large portion of Florida’s international trade opportunity, especially for Florida’s agriculture industry,” said Alice Ancona, Director of Global Outreach for the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “Canada continues to be Florida’s number one destination for Florida agriculture products, while Brazil continues to rank as Florida’s top trading partner and export destination. Florida has a once in a lifetime opportunity to take advantage of changing trade routes and become the global hub for international trade.”

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.

Canada also tops the list as the top international country for visitors and dollars spent in Florida- with more than $4 billion spent. Growing trade relationships with countries like Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina and Peru work to create a competitive environment for Florida’s exporters – 95 percent of which are small-to-mid-sized businesses— to grow and thrive. In fact, the Florida Chamber recently led a Florida delegation along with Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera, to Peru to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to help promote trade and investment opportunities between Peru and the United States.

The impact of international trade to Florida’s economy 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.

“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,” said  Doug Wheeler, President and CEO, Florida Ports Council. “Increasing trade creates jobs and brings a better quality of life to our state.”

The Florida Chamber’s Global Florida Program’s mission is to educate and promote business opportunities, collaborate and advance policy initiatives in each of the four major geographic regions:  Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and Middle East/Africa. Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam recently sponsored the Florida World Trade Month resolution, which was signed by Governor Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi and CFO Jeff Atwater.

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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.

Sec. Bill Johnson Discusses Peru, Marketing FL and Partnerships on Bottom Line

In Florida, global trade means high-wage jobs and economic prosperity. Florida is home to more than 60,000 firms dedicated to bringing their goods and services to consumers around the globe. 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.

In fact, this month, the Florida Chamber’s Director of Global Outreach, Alice Ancona, joined Secretary of Commerce Bill Johnson, Lieutenant-Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera and more than 80 Florida businesses on an economic development mission to Peru- Florida’s 9th largest trading partner. According to Secretary Johnson, so far, direct hard sales are at $27 million from the Peru trip.

“What we emphasized down in Lima, Peru and to our friends in Peru is that Florida is in the center of the hemisphere,” said Secretary of Commerce Bill Johnson.  “And Florida can provide you the opportunity for your company, for your business, whether you are importing or exporting- Florida can save you time and money. Florida should be your logistics center for everything you do.”

While Florida is quickly building a reputation as the global hub for international trade, we can do more to marketing Florida’s business friendly climate in the U.S. California, a state that has ranked as one of the worst business climates in the nation for the past 11 years, spends $50 million per year on out-of-state marketing. New York, home to the most expensive city in the nation, is in the middle of a $200 million ad campaign that promotes New York’s business climate as a place to start and grow your business.

“One of the most important things I hope to accomplish as the new CEO of Enterprise Florida is to gain the support of the Florida legislature in this area of marketing,” said Secretary Johnson. “I’m thankful to the Florida Chamber for the support, and our business community for the support, in really asking the legislature to allow us to work together to mount an intelligent campaign, to let not just Floridians know, but the United States and globally know, that Florida is the place to do business.”

To Secretary Johnson, moving Florida in the right direction means strategic partnerships that will help create jobs.

“The Florida Chamber without question is the best chamber in the United States- top leadership. I had the honor to serve on the Board of the [Florida] Chamber of Commerce for six years. I know the power of what the Florida Chamber of Commerce does and what it can do. Clearly, the Florida Chamber was instrumental in the creation, many years back, of Enterprise Florida. And today, as we continue to grow the economy and the number of jobs in our state, the Florida Chamber is one of the most important partner of ours at EFI. I am fortunate as the new CEO of this organization to have the support of Mark Wilson and the whole team of professionals here at the Florida Chamber. I cannot stress the importance of that strategic alliance and working together- that’s how we will grow Florida, that’s how we will strengthen this economy, that’s how we, together, will grow jobs in the state– through partnerships.”