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

 


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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

For Florida, the TPP is More Than Just Another Free trade Agreement

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade agreement among twelve Pacific Rim countries which currently represent 40 percent of all global trade.

Free trade has been under attack lately. It seems that everywhere you turn – newspapers, the Presidential campaigns, the streets of some faraway place or the internet – you will find an image of someone holding up an anti-TPP sign.

It must be acknowledged that trade has not benefited everyone and its gains have not been shared by all industry sectors. Some have suffered while others have prospered. Jobs have moved away to never return and some communities have been forever scared by those losses. Not all have enjoyed the advantages that trade brings.

We must be more mindful of this as trade and increased competition will be stressful to some communities that have not yet reaped its rewards. It is up to us, the champions of trade, to also champion measures to mitigate its impacts and offset losses.

Trade, none the less, is part of our economic reality and our daily lives. It is how oranges and grapefruit from Central Florida arrive at a Japanese grocery store, it’s how medical devices made in North Florida end up in operating rooms around the world, it is how we are able to order last minute gifts at a click of a button and how we send our loved ones flowers on Valentines’ Day. Our lives depend on trade and we benefit from it without even thinking about it.

Trade is one of our most important tools for economic growth and it provides a level playing field for our exporters to access 95 percent of the global marketplace. It brings foreign direct investment which provides employment for thousands of Floridians. Trade is a multiplier, catalyzing many industry sectors that directly and indirectly benefit from it.

For Florida, the TPP means securing and having greater integration with our most important consumer and trade partner- Latin America. It is a marriage forged by geography, history and culture. A marriage that has benefited Florida in immeasurable ways. The TPP will only enhance it.

This agreement would not only strengthen this partnership and provide us greater access to markets where we are less competitive, but it will further limit competition from bad actors and reduce their influence in a region that is not only significant to us economically but strategically as well. Its ratification and implementation would serve to crystalize a crucial relationship and open the door to other Latin American partners who will, in turn, improve their standards to gain entry.

With 50 percent of our state’s trade going to Latin America, Florida’s Congressional leadership should be at the forefront of championing trade and greater integration with the region. The Florida Chamber recognizes this special relationship and its importance to securing our future.

Join us in promoting and supporting the TPP during this congressional recess. Let us know if your company would be willing to sign-on to or send a letter and/or if you would be willing to contact your member of Congress. Contact me at  aancona@flchamber.com or at 850-521-1210.