The Florida Chamber & Florida’s International Community Celebrates World Trade Month

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May 01, 2014 Print Print

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

Global Trade is Big Business in Florida

TALLAHASSEE, FL (May 1, 2014) – Today marks the start of Florida’s month-long celebration of international trade and commerce. World Trade Month is a recognition of Florida’s vibrant and dynamic international community which is a driving economic force helping solidify Florida’s role in trade and logistics, the Florida Chamber of Commerce announced today. The May 1 kickoff of World Trade Month begins with Florida Transatlantic Trade and Investment Day.

“For the Florida Chamber, celebrating World Trade Month is celebrating manufacturers and exporters, along with a host of other facets of the industry,” said Alice Ancona, Director of Global Outreach with the Florida Chamber. “Consider that one in six Florida manufacturing jobs depends on exports and that 340,267 Floridians are employed in the manufacturing industry.”

Global trade means high-wage jobs and economic prosperity for Florida. The Sunshine State 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. Governor Rick Scott designated May as World Trade Month.

“Florida’s future prosperity and our growth as a global hub for international trade are inextricably linked,” said Ancona. “In order for Florida to continue on its mission to be a global hub for trade, the business community must unite and policymakers must remain committed to Florida’s trade future.”

Florida manages its trade efforts using:

To strengthen Florida’s international trade efforts, this week Florida’s long-overdue sales tax exemption on manufacturing and equipment took effect.

“Manufacturers in Florida are in a perfect position to excel in international trade, and we want to fill up all of those cargo containers so that every one of them leaving Florida is full,” said Nancy Stephens, Executive Director at the Manufacturers Association of Florida.

Additionally, Senator Garrett Richter (R-Naples) filed a Florida Chamber-backed bipartisan resolution urging congress to express support for the successful negotiation of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) between U.S. and the European Union.

T-Tip would reduce restrictions on trade and free markets, increase exports and increase manufacturing jobs. Currently, the transatlantic economy is the largest economy in the world, encompassing 50 percent of the U.S. GDP.

For Florida, a partnership with the European Union would further drive economic growth. In 2012, trade with the European Union alone accounted for nine percent of Florida’s exported goods.

As the Florida Chamber Foundation’s most recent Trade and Logistics Study shows, our state has the potential to create 150,000 new trade-related jobs by implementing recommendations outlined in its report. The Florida Chamber’s commitment toward trade and manufacturing success recently led us to open a trade and manufacturing office in Miami.

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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 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.

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