Orlando, Florida - United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk arrived in Orlando, Florida to give a keynote speech to the Retail Industry Leaders Association Logistics Conference. During his visit to Orlando, Ambassador Kirk will meet with Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and tour the University of Central Florida Center for Emerging Media. Ambassador Kirk will also meet with local business leaders to discuss President Obama's new National Export Initiative (NEI), how the NEI can help small businesses grow and create more jobs and how Florida can build a brighter future through exports.
Every day in Florida, businesses are exporting home-grown oranges, custom-made plastics, electronic equipment, and a wide variety of other products to markets all over the globe. Those sales are building local opportunities from Orlando to Tallahassee and all across the Sunshine State.
In 2008, exports of American goods totaled more than $1.2 trillion, and $54.2 billion of those exports came from Florida. That makes Florida the 5th highest exporter among the 50 states.
More than a quarter of a million U.S. firms export goods. In 2007, more than 33,000 of them were right here in Florida, and more than 31,000 of those were small- or medium-sized firms with fewer than 500 employees. In fact, that same year small- and medium-sized businesses produced nearly two-thirds of Florida's goods exports, the highest percentage of any state.