Governor and Cabinet Proclaim May as Florida World Trade Month

CONTACT: Edie Ousley, 850-521-1231 or 850-251-6261



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.”




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 for more information.

Manufacturing Creates Jobs in Florida

For every 10 jobs created in Florida’s export-oriented manufacturing, 12 more jobs are created in transportation, warehousing and retail? With an additional eight jobs created in business services, there are a total number of 30 jobs supported by Florida export manufacturing. In fact, manufacturing has the highest jobs “multiplier” of any sector because it leads to the creation of more indirect and induced jobs in other sectors in the economy.

Simply put, expanding manufacturing in Florida diversifies the economy and provides high-wage jobs. In 2013, the Florida Legislature passed a three-year exemption from sales and use taxes on industrial machinery and equipment used in manufacturing in Florida. This exemption is expected to increase capital investment in Florida by manufacturers, improve productivity, and help Florida’s manufacturers compete better in world markets.

Florida needs manufacturing. Consider the facts:

  • Florida is the 12th-highest state in number of people employed in manufacturing.
  • Florida has 330,544 manufacturing employees, with an average annual wage of more than $54,000.
  • Floridians receive $17.9 billion in manufacturing wages in Florida.
  • There are 19,206 manufacturers in Florida – an increase of 696 over the last year.
  • Manufactured Goods Exports in 2013 equal $56.4 billion.
  • Manufacturing’s Share of Florida’s Exports in 2013 was 93.3 percent.

Besides diversifying the economy, manufacturing firms perform around 70 percent of U.S. Industry Research and Development, even though manufacturing accounts for only about 11 percent of the U.S. economy.

“The impact Florida’s manufacturing industry has on our state’s small businesses is undeniable,” said Michael Myhre, Network State Director for Florida’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network. “Manufacturing helps diversify Florida’s economy and helps create high-wage jobs for Floridians. When Florida remains competitive, small businesses succeed.”

Beginning today, the Manufacturers Association of Florida is hosting their annual Manufacturing Days event in Tallahassee this week. Manufacturing Days will feature speakers on topics important to manufacturers including water policy, the sales tax exemption for manufacturing machinery and equipment, tax issues, and the Florida Chamber’s Legislative Priorities.

Share Your Manufacturing Story:

Is your community diversifying its economy by adding manufacturing companies and manufacturing jobs?  How are your local and regional educational institutions helping prepare your workforce for the manufacturing jobs of the future?  Tell us by contacting us at

About the Florida Scorecard Did You Know:

The Florida Scorecard, located at, 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 You can also follow the Florida Chamber Foundation on Twitter at @FLChamberFDN.