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Weekly Trade Spotlight: Trade in South Florida

United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk is traveling this week to Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This Weekly Trade Spotlight demonstrates the importance of trade to workers and firms both small and large throughout the state.

Residents of South Florida and people across the state rely on the benefits of trade for jobs and building their businesses. Florida ranks as one of the highest exporting states in the country. Florida companies continue to foster extensive trade relationships to take advantage of new opportunities to create jobs, and build a solid economic foundation.

Total exports of goods from Florida were valued at more than $45 billion for 2009. In 2008, 65 percent of Florida’s total exports originated in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach area. Statewide, exports support 168,000 jobs. Florida sends a large volume of its exports to Central and South America, as well as Europe and Asia. Countries like Brazil, China, and Colombia are increasingly large markets, and Florida exporters have new opportunities to capture a growing portion of the market share in those countries.

Florida companies, from medical research facilities to green energy enterprises, have been able to build profitable and growing operations, in part due to an expansion of sales overseas. High-technology equipment and parts, including computer and television equipment, account for the top exports from the state and drive job creation in these growing industries.

The Port of Miami, positioned in Biscayne Bay, is strategically located and a valuable resource to the state and the country. Hundreds of corporations, from media companies to consumer electronics manufacturers, have stationed their Latin American headquarters in and around Miami, a testament to the shipping and export power of the city.

With increasingly open markets and an impressive, expanding capacity for exports, South Florida is a great place for small- and medium-sized businesses to take advantage of trade, grow their businesses, and drive job creation. By diversifying their markets, these South Florida businesses can build a more stable future for their employees.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is working on behalf of Floridians and all Americans to open new markets and secure new opportunities through trade. By building upon trade relationships with other countries, businesses, workers, and communities are all able to reap the benefits of global trade.