Florida Chamber Urges Vote on U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)

On July 22, the Florida Chamber submitted a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative and the Florida congressional delegation on NAFTA negotiations to reiterates our strong support for ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), and urges Congress to move forward with a vote adopting the USMCA as soon as possible.

The letter is in keeping with our long-standing policy of supporting free trade, expanding international trade and investment opportunities for Florida business and communities, fair and equitable market access for Florida-origin exports abroad, and elimination of barriers that are harmful to Florida’s competitiveness as a global hub for trade.   Our recommendations address the need to modernize the agreement but also raise unfair trading practices that have negatively impacted the Florida agriculture community.

The fourth round of NAFTA modernization talks begin on October 11th in Washington, D.C.

There are seven scheduled rounds of negotiation and the timeline for conclusion is increasingly tight as tough issues such as the Trump administration proposal to “reduce the trade deficit with the NAFTA countries”, changes to rules of origin as well as the fate of the transnational court for investment disputes are still on the table and need to be resolved.

Florida Chamber of Commerce Celebrates World Trade Month

Encourages Renewal of NAFTA

 TALLAHASSEE Fla. (May 1, 2018)— The Florida Chamber of Commerce is celebrating May as World Trade Month and is reinforcing the important role global trade plays in creating jobs, growing opportunities for small businesses and increasing foreign direct investment.

Despite the flurry of trade actions on exports and imports, the Florida Chamber remains committed to Florida succeeding as a global hub for trade, in order to ensure we remain competitive in a global marketplace. Expanding rules-based trade and investment is a key engine for Florida’s growth. The Florida Chamber is actively working to advance these efforts on behalf of the business community, every day.

“Florida is not just a great place to live and do business, but has an incredibly diversified economy” said BOB GRAMMIG, Chair, Florida Chamber of Commerce and Partner, Holland & Knight. “By expanding Florida’s role as the global hub for trade and logistics, we are creating jobs, attracting and retaining talent and providing more opportunities for businesses who want to grow or expand in our state.”

The Florida Chamber of Commerce has a long-standing history of supporting free trade, expanding international trade and investment opportunities for Florida’s business community, advocating for fair and equitable market access for Florida-origin exports abroad, and eliminating barriers that are harmful to Florida’s competitiveness as a global hub for trade.

Consider the Economic Impacts of Trade in Florida:

  • Florida ranks sixth in the nation in terms of foreign direct investment employment—with foreign companies employing more than 327,000 Floridians,
  • International trade supports more than two million jobs in Florida, that’s one in five jobs,
  • International business accounts for about 17 percent of Florida’s economy, and
  • In 2017, Florida’s total merchandise trade reached $147.7 billion.

Yesterday, the Florida Chamber and Ontario Chamber of Commerce announced their partnership supporting continued cross-border trade agreements between Florida and Ontario, and encouraged the renewal of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) during the current renegotiation process.

“With nearly 500 Canadian companies employing Floridians, it is important that we continue to maintain and expand our relationship with Ontario and Canada to fuel economic growth,” said MARK WILSON, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.  “The Florida Chamber is proud to join the Ontario Chamber in support of free trade and modernization and renewal of NAFTA.”

Members of the Florida Chamber of Commerce will travel to Washington, D.C., in the coming days 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.

# # #

 

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.

Florida and Ontario Chambers of Commerce Call for Strengthening Cross-Border Trade

Chambers Advocate for Continued Relationship Between Florida and Ontario

 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 30, 2018)–  The Florida Chamber of Commerce (Florida Chamber), Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), Canada-Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce, and Canada-Florida Chamber of Commerce, are partnering together in support of continued cross-border trade agreements between Florida and Ontario. The chambers are actively encouraging the renewal of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) during the current renegotiation process.

 

“With nearly 500 Canadian companies employing Floridians, it is important that we continue to maintain and expand our relationship with Ontario and Canada to fuel economic growth,” said MARK WILSON, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.  “The Florida Chamber is proud to join the Ontario Chamber in support of free trade and modernization and renewal of NAFTA.”

 

Florida and Ontario share a substantive, significant relationship – particularly in tourism and trade cooperation. Trade between Florida and Ontario is mutually beneficial and growing, generating $4.9 billion annually. Key sectors such as furniture, iron and steel structures, computer and computer peripherals, autos, fruit and vegetable juices, and coffee are currently at stake.

 

“As many Ontarians consider Florida their second home, we must continue to build upon the strong substantive relationship between our two jurisdictions, said ROCCO ROSSI, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “The OCC believes cross-border trade agreements and the renewal of NAFTA will continue to drive economic growth for Ontario and Florida.”

 

All organizations are urging their governments to explore opportunities to strengthen cross-border partnerships between the two regions. Continued cross-border trade benefits all parties involved, contributing to the economic prosperity of both regions.

 

What Others Are Saying:

 

“The economic and social ties between Ontario and the Tampa Bay region are long-standing and remarkable, not just during the holidays or vacation break but throughout the year.  Personal and educational visits often develop into commercial exchange; and business activities typically precede a decision to invest.  At the Canada-Tampa Bay Chamber we see this first hand.  A modernized NAFTA and a friendly regulatory environment generally are critical to continued prosperity and broader growth on a bilateral basis.”  Andrew McIntosh, President of Canada-Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce 

 

“The Canada Florida Chamber of Commerce is excited about and supportive of the cross-border cooperation that the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce are jointly advocating for in order to foster and promote cross border trade and investment.”  Glenn Cooper, President, Florida-Canada Chamber of Commerce

 


###

 

Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, 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 crucial to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FLChamber.com for more information. 136 South Bronough Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301

KORUS

U.S. and South Korea agree to begin the process to make amendments to Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS). No details are yet available on the specific changes that will be made. U.S. and South Korea plan to use the agreement’s special “joint committee” process to make changes to the agreement rather than embark on a NAFTA like re-negotiation

The Administration and the President have indicated throughout the summer their desire to renegotiate or withdraw from KORUS – with the most serious statements coming at the beginning of September.

Over the summer, a rare bi-partisan letter from Congressional leaders overseeing the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees called for the White House to pursue further discussions instead of pulling out of a pact with an important economic and geopolitical partner, particularly at a time of heightened tensions in the Korean peninsula.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce issued a statement opposing pulling out of KORUS.

KORUS is five years old – nowhere near as mature as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  The U.S. currently maintains a trade deficit in good exports with South Korea.  Its important to note that trade is more than exports.  The U.S. also maintains a services exports surplus with South Korea.  While origin-exports are important drivers of economic growth — according to the Department of Labor—it is important to note that 80% of the U.S. work-force works in the service sector.

KORUS also includes an investment chapter that is designed to facilitate bilateral investment between the U.S. and South Korea. By any measure, the United States is the net beneficiary here. Korea is the 14th largest foreign direct investor in the United States with significant new investments in the horizon.  The Hyundai Motor Group, which includes Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors has stated that it plans to increase investment into the U.S. by 50% to $3.1 billion over five years and may build a new plant there. LG Electronics also is looking to increase investment by building a manufacturing facility in the U.S.

While there are opportunities to grow trade and tap into the South Korean market, KORUS agreement still has some matter to address such as issues relating to regulatory transparency, customs clearance, and regulatory overreach. Florida trade with South Korea has increased 86 percent since 2011.

Florida Chamber Weighs in on NAFTA

On September 26th, the Florida Chamber submitted a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative and the Florida congressional delegation on NAFTA negotiations to ensure we better position Florida’s businesses, exporters and our economy to capture trade-based opportunities for our state.

The letter is in keeping with our long-standing policy of supporting free trade, expanding international trade and investment opportunities for Florida business and communities, fair and equitable market access for Florida-origin exports abroad, and elimination of barriers that are harmful to Florida’s competitiveness as a global hub for trade.   Our recommendations address the need to modernize the agreement but also raise unfair trading practices that have negatively impacted the Florida agriculture community.

The fourth round of NAFTA modernization talks begin on October 11th in Washington, D.C.

There are seven scheduled rounds of negotiation and the timeline for conclusion is increasingly tight as tough issues such as the Trump administration proposal to “reduce the trade deficit with the NAFTA countries”, changes to rules of origin as well as the fate of the transnational court for investment disputes are still on the table and need to be resolved.

Look for an update on NAFTA at our next Global Florida webinar scheduled for: November 7th

Trade Watch

Since the campaign, President Trump has made balancing trade flows and reducing the trade deficit a top priority. The President and his Administration have indicated that they are strongly considering the use of tariffs and restrictions as well as tinkering with rules of origin to address this.  This would be antithetical to goals of free trade in general and NAFTA specifically.

It is important to note that while the U.S. has a trade deficit in goods, the U.S. maintains a significant trade surplus in services exports and is the largest exporter of services in the world as well as a top global destination of foreign direct investment.  Goods exports are only one component of trade.

It is important to note that while the U.S. has a trade deficit in goods, the U.S. maintains a significant trade surplus in services exports and is the largest exporter of services in the world as well as a top global destination of foreign direct investment.  Goods exports are only one component of trade.

 

 

 

 

 

Florida Chamber Global Florida Webinar

November 7, 2017  | 3:00 p.m. EST

Please join the Florida Chamber for our next Global Florida webinar  which will focus on NAFTA Modernization. Register Today

 What and the opportunities and threats to modernization?

One of the top trade concerns is the renegotiation/modernization of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).   Join us as we discuss potential changes to major components of this agreement, their implications and key issues for Florida.

 

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!