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"Boost trade, economy"

During Ambassador Kirk's trip to Florida on February 24, he sat down with the Orlando Sentinel. He spoke about how trade is vital to America and Florida's economic recovery. Read an excerpt of the Orlando Sentinel article and the full article here.

"Speaking in Orlando this week, the United States' point man on international trade delivered a simple but powerful message: trade supports millions of U.S. jobs, and expanding it must be a part of reviving the U.S. economy.

The message from U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk resonates in the Sunshine State, where hundreds of thousands of people owe their livelihoods to trade. Florida is the fifth highest exporting state, sending more than $47 billion in goods abroad last year.

The annual value of Florida exports has roughly doubled since 2003. The leading categories are electronics, transportation equipment, chemicals and machinery. Orlando ranks third behind Miami and Tampa among metro areas in Florida for exports.

... In fact, U.S. manufacturing exports support almost 6 million jobs, one in six in that sector, according to Mr. Kirk's office. Agricultural exports support more than 800,000 jobs. And people in export-related jobs earn at least 13 percent more than the U.S. average.

In Florida, trade isn't just for big business. Of the 33,500 companies that exported from the state in 2007, more than 31,000 were firms with fewer than 500 employees. Those firms' exports made up almost two-thirds of the value of goods sent abroad from Florida, the highest share for businesses in that category in any state."