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.

Approximately Five Percent of Florida’s $800 Billion Economy Consists of Manufacturing

Approximately five percent of Florida’s $800 billion economy consists of manufacturing? That figure, relatively stable throughout the past 10 years, nationally ranks the Sunshine State 47 in manufacturing’s share of economic activity – a ranking that Florida is working to improve on.

Today’s modern manufacturing is far removed from the images of dirty assembly lines and smoke-filled die-cutting plants. Instead, today’s manufacturing industry is highly technical, provides higher-than-average wages and requires a highly-skilled workforce.

In fact:

  • Florida is home to more than 18,000 manufacturers, employing more than 300,000 Floridians, producing nearly $40 billion in economic activity in 2013.
  • From 2010 to 2012 alone, the industry created more than 9,000 new, private-sector high-wage jobs.
  • The industry’s average annual salary in Florida is $53,286 – almost 30 percent higher than the average annual state wage of $41,140.

The health of Florida’s manufacturing industry is inextricably tied to our growth in other industry sectors – especially international trade. A healthy, robust and growing manufacturing sector is a key component to growing Florida’s position as a global hub. As larger ships consider where to dock, our ability to fill those ships will be one of the fundamental considerations to whether those ships dock in one of Florida’s 15 seaports or somewhere else on the Atlantic seaboard. Florida’s geographic advantage and numerous trade and logistics assets place Florida in prime position for manufacturing goods to export, but we must have in place the talent pool, infrastructure and logistics systems to accommodate the emerging markets.

Growing Florida’s manufacturing industry is essential, especially considering that as other industries saw layoffs and declines, international trade grew by double digits during the 2007-2009 recession. The Florida Chamber Foundation’s Trade & Logistics Study 2.0 report points that Florida can continue to thrive in international markets and become a dominant global hub for trade. The results would be like a snowball – more manufacturing jobs created by increasing global trade leading to more exports, which in turn would create even more jobs, and so on.

So, Where Does Florida Stand?

Over the past 10 years, Florida’s manufacturing output has ranged from a high of 5.5 percent of the State’s GDP in 2007 to a low of 4.9 percent in 2013. Examining this figure for all 50 states, Florida’s share ranks us 47th for 2013. In addition, the gap between Florida’s ranking and successful manufacturing states is a wide one to close. Moving Florida from its current position to the top half of all states would require more than doubling our share of manufacturing output (Pennsylvania ranks 25th with manufacturing equal to 12 percent of its economy). Becoming a top-10 state would require more than tripling our share (Ohio ranks 10th with manufacturing accounting for 17.7 percent of the State’s economy).

“Growing Florida’s economy over the long term will mean a commitment to expanding the health and vitality of our manufacturing industry. Manufacturing origination and the sustainable employment associated with it are essential components to a strong economy and will help us attract top talent seeking above-average wages,” said John Hartnett, V.P., Global Business Development with Endoscopy Replacement Parts, Inc., a full-service precision manufacturing facility. “It’s like we have a diamond ready to be cut and polished. We have a tremendous amount of potential as a state and need to harness the benefits while improving in strategic areas. That means ensuring our talent pool is globally competitive, our workforce system is strategically adapting to challenges and our logistics systems are prepared for 21st century markets.”

In Case You Missed It:


Nancy Stephens, Executive Director of the Manufacturers Association of Florida, in an interview earlier this year talks about the importance of Florida’s manufacturing industry on the Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line. Click here to watch Nancy discuss Florida’s manufacturing sales tax exemption.

Here Are Three Ways You Can Help Secure Florida’s Future

  1. Register and attend a Trade & Logistics Study 2.0 regional roll out. Click here for dates and locations.
  2. Register to attend the Future of Florida Forum on September 29 – October 1. The forum features top-level executives and identifies connection points and partnerships that will make Florida a state with vibrant communities, high-wage jobs and endless opportunities for global competitiveness.
  3. Become a Florida Chamber Foundation Trustee and help provide strategic direction for Florida’s future, to 2030 and beyond.


Tell Us Your Story:

How has your business grown through international trade and export opportunities? Where do you see room for Florida to improve its manufacturing business climate?


About the Florida Scorecard Did You Know:

The Florida Scorecard, located at, presents metrics across Florida’s economy. Each week, the Florida Chamber Foundation produces a Scorecard Did You Know that takes an in-depth look at one specific statistic.