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Help the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative celebrate 50 years in action by sharing success stories from around the world. Whether it’s your story or a story of a farmer, rancher, manufacturer, service provider or entrepreneur, USTR wants to hear all about it!


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Jobs Supported by Trade

50th Anniversary Home  •  History  •  Accomplishments  •  Jobs •  Digital Library  •  Facts  •  Events 
The Obama Administration’s balanced approach to trade is growing exports abroad and expanding job opportunities at home. Presented below are just a few of the many success stories which have resulted from the Administration’s focus on tearing down trade barriers and opening access to new markets.

Langdale Logo

The Langdale Company
Valdosta, Georgia

 The Langdale Company is just one example of how a small business is poised to win the future through trade. The company currently exports their industrial wood products from ten manufacturing facilities in Georgia to Asia, the Caribbean, Central America, Europe, and Mexico. For over 35 years, Langdale has exported to different markets around the world, spreading Langdale’s reputation for exceptional service, competitive prices, and an extensive product line. And Langdale has plans to expand into even more global markets.

Even with such a large portfolio of international customers, the Langdale Company has its eye on the South Korean market’s tremendous business opportunities. Bryan Harvey, vice president of sales, sees the South Korean market as a large growth opportunity for his company, but before the trade agreement, barriers to trade limited Langdale’s growth in South Korea.

“The passage of the U.S.-South Korea trade agreement eliminates duties, thereby making our products more affordable. This helps increase our export volumes to the South Korea market,” said Harvey.

Although the product that Langdale currently exports to South Korea does not receive immediate tariff elimination, this company's long-term growth plans still benefit from lower duties and increased competitiveness from the phase out of Korea’s tariffs on this product under the agreement.

South Korea is our seventh largest trading partner, but before the agreement was in effect, exporting to South Korea currently has a few price tags. American businesses were charged an average tariff of 5.9 percent, which used to reach as high as 12 percent, to export wood and lumber. Estimated duties paid on exports of U.S. wood and lumber to South Korea were over $17 million from 2007 to 2009. However, more than 93 percent of U.S. wood and lumber exports to South Korea by value now receive duty-free treatment in the first three years of implementation of the U.S.-South Korea trade agreement.

The U.S.-South Korea trade agreement also allows Langdale the opportunity to export a wider portfolio of existing products to the South Korean market.

Greetings from Florida

Trade and Jobs Case Study

Florida is known for many things. Whether it’s for sunny beaches, amusement parks or the everglades, people flock to Florida for a variety of reasons. However, what most people may not know is that Florida is the fourth largest state exporter in the United States.

From agriculture to manufacturing to services, Floridians all across the sunshine state depend on trade for their paycheck. For example, in 2008, jobs supported by Florida’s goods exports were estimated to be 168,000 – and these jobs pay 13-19 percent higher than the national average wage.

While most people think of Florida for its citrus and citrus juices – and for good reason as Florida is the third largest state exporter of fruit – many people forget about Florida’s booming manufacturing sector. Exports of computers, transportation equipment, chemicals, and machinery led to an 89 percent increase in exports in just 10 years. One of seven manufacturing workers in Florida depends on exports for their job. 

The same goes for workers in the agricultural sector. More than 25,400 jobs in Florida are supported both on and off the farm in food processing, storage, and transportation by agricultural exports. These exports will only increase now that trade tariff barriers have been removed with Korea and Colombia, and will increase even more once the free trade agreement with Panama is implemented.

Besides working to implement trade agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama to help Florida exporters, USTR is working on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This new 21st-century agreement will provide new opportunities for Florida businesses to export to various Asia-Pacific countries, opening new markets for high-quality Florida goods to be sold around the world.

Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee Co.

Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee Co.
Honolulu, Hawai'i

Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee Company provides Hawaiian-grown coffee and bottled water. The Hawaiian Isles Water and Kona Coffee brands are some of only a few Hawaii-inspired coffee and water products made entirely by local workers in Hawaii.

Hawaiian Isles currently exports roughly 8,000 cases of coffee and 35,000 cases of water to international markets every year with over 80 percent of that making it to markets in the Asia-Pacific region including Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Canada. Although this currently only represents a small percentage of their overall business, Hawaiian Isles has been looking for ways to expand their exports to allow them to grow their business and support Hawaiian jobs.

Currently, trade barriers in the Asia-Pacific region raise the cost of many Hawaiian Isles’ export products.

At APEC, USTR is working with our Asia-Pacific trading partners to address trade barriers and help companies like Hawaiian Isles compete on a level playing field.

“The opportunity to compete in other markets would provide a healthy growth in our sales and help us toward our vision of being a world leader in Hawaiian-based products,” said Glenn Boulware, Director of Business Development and Strategic Planning for Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee Company.

With increased trade, Hawaiian Isles would be able to expand their business in the United States. The company relies heavily on U.S. workers for the manufacturing and distribution of their agricultural and natural products. An expansion in trade will therefore increase demand for both manufacturing equipment and employees, as well as production for their agricultural and natural products.

“This upgrade and expansion of our capabilities will mean the creation of additional jobs and even new jobs to meet the new demands of entering into new markets,” Boulware said.

Marlin Steel

Marlin Steel Wire Products LLC
Baltimore, Maryland

Marlin Steel Wire Products LLC of Baltimore, Maryland is a U.S. based and owned manufacturer of steel products. Marlin, founded in 1968, carries an extensive inventory of baskets, racks, grates, hooks, screens, skimmers, and custom wire products. Marlin exports its products to over 25 countries around the world; it counts major multinational corporations like General Motors, Honeywell, Boeing, and Toyota among its clients.Recently, Marlin began exporting to 4 new countries: China, England, New Zealand, and Switzerland. Marlin credits increased exports for its ability to hire more workers and increase sales.

USTR seeks to help small businesses like Marlin export even more of their products. Ambassador Kirk instituted an agency-wide effort to bolster trade opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses, and requested three investigations to learn more about how the export market for small and medium sized businesses works.