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Ambassador Kirk Speaks with Austin Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development Council

During his second day in Austin, Ambassador Kirk made remarks to members of the Austin Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development Council. He spoke about the importance of trade in supporting good Texas jobs.

“Here in Austin you’re well on your way to winning the future with world-class universities, strong infrastructure, and an entrepreneurial spirit that encourages innovators to take big ideas and turn them into blockbuster products. As a result high-tech businesses both large and small continue to thrive and create jobs in your community. And increasingly those jobs depend on trade.

"Texas companies like yours are tackling the challenges of global competition, and winning. Your international businesses contributed to Texas’ total $206 billion of goods exports last year, making it the number one exporting state in the country. These totals are especially impressive when you consider that behind every trade number is the story of at least one business whose employees’ jobs depend on trade.

"For example, this morning I toured Formaspace Technical Furniture, which designs and manufactures custom technical furniture, accessories, and services. With about 50 employees right now, Formaspace has been ranked as one of Austin’s fastest growing small businesses on the Inc. 5000 list. In fact, they just moved into a bigger facility.

"Formaspace CEO Jeff Turk estimates that 20 to 25 percent of their products right now are being exported overseas, with about half of that figure going to Asia-Pacific markets. And he told me that getting more access to foreign markets, especially in the Asia-Pacific, will have a big impact on their ability to continue growing steadily.”

Read Ambassador Kirk’s full remarks here.