This week, Ambassador Kirk visited Atlanta, Georgia for a discussion with civic and local business leaders, hosted by Mayor Kasim Reed and the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. In addition to promoting the benefits of international trade for the Peach State, Ambassador Kirk’s visit was part of a broader White House effort to engage business owners and civic leaders across the country on President Obama’s plan to extend middle class tax cuts and reduce the deficit. Over 60 members of the Metro Atlanta community attended the candid conversation with Ambassador Kirk, which touched on city, state, and national economic issues.
Ambassador Kirk addresses members of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.
Mayor Reed and guests commented on the need to find a bipartisan solution to the fiscal cliff before the December 31 deadline. Other participants raised questions on the need to increase the role of small businesses in exports, the importance of an educated workforce, and creating jobs by attracting foreign investments.
Georgia is the 12th largest state exporter of goods (2011 data), and last year the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta metropolitan area exported over $17.2 billion in goods. A total of 10,215 companies exported from Georgia locations in 2010, 88 percent of which were small and medium-sized businesses with fewer than 500 employees.