Last week, Ambassador Kirk spoke to members of the Austin, Texas Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. Ambassador Kirk provided an update on USTR’s trade agenda, specifically the pending trade agreements with South Korea, Panama, and Colombia and Trade Adjustment Assistance for workers, as well as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Ambassador Kirk talked about the importance of growing America’s economy through trade and the value of enforcing trade laws. Specifically, he highlighted President Obama’s National Export Initiative, which works to double exports by the end of 2014 and support jobs here at home. Finally, Ambassador Kirk took questions from the group.
In 2010, Texas goods exports were $206.6 billion, ranking as the largest state exporter of goods. Texas’ top five exports were computers and electronic products, chemical products, petroleum and coal products, machinery, and transportation equipment. These five sectors accounted for 81 percent of the state’s total manufacturing exports in 2010. In 2008, 795,000 jobs were supported by Texas goods exports. These jobs pay an estimated 13 to 18 percent higher than the national average wage.