For Immediate Release: February 6, 2012
Contact: Lorri Crowley (202) 482-3809
Senior U.S. Commerce Official Signs Memorandum With Tampa Entities to Promote Local Exports
TAMPA, Fla. –Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, and Congresswoman Kathy Castor (FL-11) today announced a new partnership between the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) and local entities by signing a Memorandum of Intent (MOI) at the Port of Tampa to promote local exports. The agreement combines the federal government’s international reach with the local partners’ community ties, providing more comprehensive export assistance in an effort to reenergize Tampa’s economy and create new jobs.
“The Tampa community knows the important role exports play in our economy. This partnership builds on our shared interest in increasing local exports, which can result in new jobs, higher wages, and economic growth,” said Sánchez. “I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to improve economic opportunities for this region.”
Partnerships, like the one formed by today’s MOI, are an important step in reaching President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI) goal to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014. Through November 2011, U.S. exports totaled $1.93 trillion – an increase of 15 percent year-to-date from the same period in 2010, matching the pace needed to accomplish the President’s NEI goals. ITA plays a primary role in implementing the NEI on the national level and partnering with agencies and community leaders to implement it at the local level.
“Our partnership with the International Trade Administration, along with the support of the Tampa Port Authority, Tampa International Airport, and Hillsborough County, will help reenergize our exporting industry,” said Mayor Buckhorn. “Tampa already has all the attributes as a strong international trade partner: a deep water port, major international airport, and easy access to two Interstates. This will help us leverage our potential and expand to new markets.”
Congresswoman Castor added, “This collaboration will enhance our port’s position as a leading Florida exporter and increasing exports can do so much to expand our community’s small businesses. It gives me great pleasure to be partnering again with my friends Secretary Sánchez and Mayor Buckhorn to bring jobs and increase economic activity for our neighbors.”
Florida exports supported one-seventh of all Florida manufacturing workers in 2009. According to most recent data, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater was the second largest metropolitan area exporter in Florida, contributing $6.5 billion in exports in 2009. Tampa is built for economic prosperity through exports, boasting the largest port in the state. In partnership with ITA, businesses have additional resources, market access, and financial assistance needed in order to make increasing local exports a reality.In addition to Sánchez and Buckhorn, MOI signatories include: Sandra Murman, Vice Chair, Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners; Richard Wainio, Port Director & CEO, Tampa Port Authority; Joe Lopano, CEO, Hillsborough County Aviation Authority; Eileen Rodriguez, Regional Director, Small Business Development Center at the University of South Florida; Gordon Gillette, Chair Elect, Executive Committee, Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation; Stuart Rogel, President and CEO, Tampa Bay Partnership; Maria Crummett, Ph.D, Associate Vice President for Global Affairs, University of South Florida; and Ron Vaughn, President, University of Tampa.
International Trade Administration
The International Trade Administration (ITA) is the premier resource for American companies competing in the global marketplace. ITA has 2,100 employees assisting U.S. exporters in more than 100 U.S. cities and 77 countries worldwide. For more information on ITA visit www.trade.gov.
The International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, manages this global trade site to provide access to ITA information on promoting trade and investment, strengthening the competitiveness of U.S. industry, and ensuring fair trade and compliance with trade laws and agreements. External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein. This site contains PDF documents. A PDF reader is available from Adobe Systems Incorporated.