Ambassador Kirk began a full day in Florida on Thursday by addressing Miami residents on the importance of exports to the future of Florida’s economy. He spoke on economic development Thursday morning, before hosting a small business roundtable discussion. Participants of the roundtable included Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jose Diaz along with a number of small- and medium-sized business owners in the region. Ambassador Kirk encouraged panelists to focus on building export sales and trade relationships to support their businesses and develop new markets for their products and services. In the afternoon, the Ambassador received a Key to the County of Miami-Dade, presented to him by Commissioner Diaz.
Ambassador Kirk then traveled to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. While there, he talked with U.S. Export Assistance Center employees and thanked them for their work in assisting the region’s small businesses in developing their export capabilities. Ambassador Kirk addressed the International Trade Stakeholder Meeting where he led a roundtable discussion on the future of exports and President Obama’s National Export Initiative, which seeks to double American exports over the next five years.
Miami was the leading metropolitan area exporter in Florida for the year 2008, exporting $33 billion in goods. Ambassador Kirk emphasized the importance of exports to the region, both in expanding businesses and in supporting job creation. USTR works to buoy American exports by creating new trade relationships and ensuring the fair enforcement of existing trade agreements.