International Trade Benefits Florida’s Agricultural Industry
International trade’s impact to Florida’s economy cannot be denied. Global business and foreign direct investment accounts for approximately 17 percent of Florida’s economic activity and, according to the Florida Chamber of Commerce, directly supports more than 1 million Florida jobs.
One of the most profitable export industries in Florida is agriculture, with nine of the top 10 markets for the state’s agricultural exports located in the Americas. The state’s exports of agricultural commodities were valued at an all-time record of $4.2 billion last year, which The Florida Chamber’s Global Florida Program says ranks eighth in the United States.
“The Americas present a large portion of Florida’s international trade opportunity, especially for Florida’s agriculture industry,” says Alice Ancona, director of Global Outreach for the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “Canada continues to be Florida’s No. 1 destination for agriculture products, while Brazil continues to rank as Florida’s top trading partner and export destination.”
FLORIDA’S INTERNATIONAL TRADE RELATIONSHIPS
Growing trade relationships with countries like Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina and Peru work to create a competitive environment for the state’s exporters–95 percent of which are small- and mid-sized businesses—to grow and thrive. The Florida Chamber, along with Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera, recently led a Florida delegation to Peru to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to help promote trade and investment opportunities between Peru and the United States.
“International trade is critical not only for Florida’s overall economy, but for individual families and communities across the state, as well as visiting consumers,” says Doug Wheeler, president and CEO, Florida Ports Council. “Increasing trade creates jobs and brings a better quality of life to our state.”