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Ambassador Kirk participated in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s (CHCI) Public Policy Conference luncheon panel to discuss “Keeping the Promise: Building a Stronger International Community.” The event focused on the important trade relationship between the United States and countries in the Western Hemisphere.
Ambassador Kirk spoke about President Obama’s American Jobs Act, the National Export Initiative, and pending trade agreements with Colombia and Panama. Ambassador Kirk also highlighted the fact that exports are helping to drive economic growth and support job creation in the United States and in the hemisphere.
Just last year, U.S. goods exports to the Western Hemisphere rose by more than 24 percent to $547 billion, which outpaced growth to the world as a whole, with three of United States’ top ten export markets are located in the Hemisphere. The region accounts for over one-third of total U.S. trade with the world, and 10 of our 17 free trade partners are in the western hemisphere, including Mexico, all of Central America, the Dominican Republic, Chile, and Peru.
U.S. goods and services trade with the Western Hemisphere totaled $1.2 trillion in 2009, with exports totaling $571 billion. The largest export markets are Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, and Chile. The top export categories in 2009 were: Machinery, Electrical Machinery, Vehicles, Mineral Fuel and Oil, and Plastic.
U.S. exports of agricultural products to the Western Hemisphere countries totaled $41.8 billion in 2010. Leading categories included coarse grains, red meats, fresh/chilled/frozen, snack foods (excluding nuts), fresh fruit, wheat, soybeans, fresh vegetables, and processed fruit and vegetables.