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AS I WORK TO BRING JOBS TO FLORIDA, I SEE TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITY IN INCREASING INTERNATIONAL TRADE.
THAT IS WHY THIS WEEK I LED A DELEGATION OF FLORIDA BUSINESS LEADERS ON A TWO-DAY TRADE MISSION TO PANAMA.
IN PANAMA, I SAW FIRSTHAND THE CONSTRUCTION BEING DONE TO EXPAND THE PANAMA CANAL. FLORIDA MUST BE READY FOR THE MASSIVE POST-PANAMAX SHIPS FROM ASIA, EUROPE AND CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA THAT WILL COME AND GO THROUGH THE CANAL.
AFTER MEETING WITH PANAMANIAN TRADE LEADERS, I AM CONVINCED MORE THAN EVER THAT FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS WITH PANAMA AND OTHER LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRIES ARE ESSENTIAL TO FLORIDA’S FUTURE.
FLORIDA HAS AN IMPORTANT STAKE IN RATIFICATION OF TRADE AGREEMENTS WITH BOTH PANAMA AND COLOMBIA – AGREEMENTS THAT HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR CONGRESSIONAL RATIFICATION SINCE 2007.
ACCORDING TO 2009 ESTIMATES, AN AGREEMENT WITH PANAMA COULD RESULT IN ALMOST 1,900 FLORIDA JOBS IN FIRST YEAR – AND ABOUT 15,000 JOBS AFTER 5 YEARS.
FLORIDA EXPORTERS WILL LOSE MARKET SHARE IF THESE AGREEMENTS ARE NOT IN PLACE.
FLORIDA IS THE GATEWAY TO THE AMERICAS, AND INVESTING IN PROJECTS LIKE EXPANDING THE PORT OF MIAMI IS CRITICAL TO OUR ABILITY TO CREATE JOBS.
LET’S GET TO WORK!

 

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