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Weekly Trade Spotlight: Trade in New York

Last week, Congress passed legislation that will increase American exports with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. These new trade agreements have the potential to provide a $13 billion boost to exports, while supporting tens of thousands of American jobs and giving a spark to the economy.

This week, Ambassador Kirk visits the Northeast region of the United States; home to Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and near the banks of the Hudson and East Rivers in New York City. So, takes a look at how these agreements will benefit the Empire State.

Home to almost 20 million residents, New York is a central hub for domestic and international trade, and it was ranked the third largest state exporter of goods in 2010. New Yorkers have already benefited from trade, from manufacturing to information technology to agriculture. For example, in 2008 – which is the most recent year for which data is available - 293,000 jobs were supported by New York goods exports. Trade also fuels the sales of numerous small- and medium-sized businesses, which are responsible for 94 percent of New York exporting companies. Businesses of all sizes exported more than $69.7 billion worth of goods in 2010 alone, accounting for 5.8 percent of New York’s gross domestic product.

Although trade is already a big part of New York’s economic infrastructure, the recently passed trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama will further stimulate growth in the New York exports and support workers and families throughout the state. For example, New York currently exports to two trade agreement partners, Australia and Chile, and exports have more than doubled since these agreements were enacted in 2005 and 2003, respectively. The agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama promise more growth to the New York’s economy and job market.

The U.S.-Korea agreement is estimated to increase American goods exports to South Korea by $10-11 billion and support at least 70,000 American jobs across the country. This will add to the $1.7 billion in goods bought by South Korean customers from New York businesses annually between 2008 and 2010. Additionally, the elimination of Colombia’s tariffs on U.S. goods is estimated to increase exports by more than $1 billion nationwide – including made-in-New York products. New York producers also exported an annual average of $93 million worth of goods—primarily chemicals and petroleum and coal products—to Panama between 2008 and 2010, and that number is expected to increase due to the new U.S.-Panama trade agreement.

In addition, the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) legislation, which was passed by Congress along with the trade agreements, provides help to workers who need retraining and assistance when their jobs are affected by global competition. It helps workers in America’s services and manufacturing sectors with training for new jobs in various industries, lower health insurance premiums, and vital assistance that keeps families on their feet. Between October 1, 2009 and September 30, 2010, more than 6,900 New York workers benefited from TAA. The programs associated with this legislation will continue to help New York families in transition.

The impact of trade for New York’s businesses and workers is essential, and these trade agreements will supply the state with greater export opportunities. This means more jobs for New Yorkers and more growth potential for the state’s gross domestic product.