On Thursday, United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk will be in Wisconsin to discuss the President's National Export Initiative. This week's trade spotlight highlights the importance of trade to workers and families in the Badger State.
Trade continues to provide many benefits to the people of Wisconsin. It makes goods more affordable for families, supports well-paying jobs for workers and creates new opportunities for farmers, ranchers, business owners and entrepreneurs. In 2009 alone, Wisconsin businesses exported over $16 billion in goods to other countries, supporting over 190,000 jobs throughout the state. In Wisconsin, small and medium enterprises continue to export to countries throughout the world. In 2007, 87 percent of Wisconsin businesses that exported goods abroad employed fewer than 500 workers.
Small companies like Main Street Ingredients, LLC., in La Crosse, Wisconsin have discovered the benefits of exporting abroad. This company employees 200 workers and began exporting nine years ago, with exports to places like Canada, Europe and the Middle East accounting for 20 percent of its gross sales. In Eau Claire, Accu-tech Plastics employees 31 workers and produces component protection products. Over 80 percent of those products are exported to countries around the world including Singapore and Israel. In Green Bay, the port continues to hum with a level of excitement as Wisconsin-made goods are loaded onto ships for foreign consumers.
For the citizens of the Badger state, trade creates opportunity. Trade allows entrepreneurs, farmers, ranchers and business owners to expand their business while making goods more affordable for families in grocery and retail stores. For Wisconsin’s workers, trade continues to support more well-paying, quality jobs across the state.