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U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman Underlines Ohio’s Record-High Exports in Cleveland and Columbus, Promotes President Obama’s Trade Agenda

Top White House trade official demonstrates how exporting is unlocking economic opportunity for Ohioans at Cleveland small business event with Senator Sherrod Brown and local business expo with Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman

Cleveland and Columbus, OH – U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, the lead United States trade official, came to Cleveland and Columbus to tout Ohio’s all-time-high exports and outline how President Obama’s trade agenda will help unlock economic opportunity for Ohioans.

In 2013, Ohio exported a record-breaking $50.8 billion of Made-in-America goods to the world, supporting an estimated 259,000 jobs.  In visiting a Cleveland small business with U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and addressing Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman’s small business convention, Ambassador Froman spotlighted new data released last month indicating that both Cleveland and Columbus account for a large share of Ohio’s export-supported jobs.

This comes one week after President Obama’s remarks at Northwestern University last week on “The New Foundation” for the economy, in which the President underscored the importance of manufacturing and Made-in-America exports to expanding economic opportunity. 

“Made-in-America exports are a cornerstone of President Obama’s strategy to unlock economic opportunity for Americans, and Ohio is leading the way with record-breaking exports sold to the world last year,” said Ambassador Froman. “Small businesses like Jet Incorporated in Cleveland and the Columbus companies at Mayor Coleman’s expo today are the backbone of job creation in America, and they also make up the vast majority of the businesses that export American goods to the world. Every day, the Obama Administration is fighting to help increase American exports, which grow the economy on Main Street, support job creation, and strengthen the Middle Class.” 

In Cleveland, Ambassador Froman and U.S. Senator Brown toured the production floor of Jet Incorporated, a small business that is creating jobs by designing, manufacturing, and exporting innovative wastewater treatment systems to 33 countries all over the world. Jet also manufactures commercial package plant equipment for treating biological wastewater from homes, communities, and commercial facilities. Over a quarter of all Ohio manufacturing workers depend on exports for their jobs. 

Exports account for one quarter of Jet’s total sales, and they’ve been able to hire new employees as a direct result of their export business. Moreover, many of Jet’s products are essential to providing clean, treated water for reuse and replenishing local water resources in the developing world.

“Ohio companies are more than equipped to win customers in any country on this planet,” said Senator Brown. “But we have to work to ensure more Ohio companies and workers reach potential in the global market, and that means common-sense trade rules and strict enforcement of them. Jet Incorporated is leading the effort to expand Ohio exports and helping to meet the President's goal of doubling our nation's exports by 2015.”

Afterward, Ambassador Froman hit the road for Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman’s MOMENTUM Small Business Conference & Expo, where he stressed that over 16,000 Ohio companies export – almost 90% of which are small and medium-sized businesses.  Ambassador Froman also praised Mayor Coleman for his efforts to increase Columbus’s exports – particularly through Columbus Global Connect, a global trade and investment strategy for the Columbus Region that Mayor Coleman announced in partnership with the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase last year.

“When we export products made in Columbus to countries around the globe, we create jobs and investment right here in our city,” said Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman. “By continuing to focus our efforts on initiatives like Columbus Global Connect, we not only strengthen our small businesses, we strengthen both the Columbus and United States economy.”

The Obama Administration has undertaken the most ambitious trade agenda in American history to expand opportunity across the United States, which will build on Ohio’s strong export record by unlocking opportunity for Ohioan workers, businesses, farmers and ranchers.

Trade is a key driver of Ohio’s economy, and President Obama’s two highest trade priorities, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), will give Ohio and the United States enhanced access to four out of Ohio’s largest five export markets – Canada, Mexico, France, and the United Kingdom. 

What’s more, TPP and T-TIP will include Ohio’s top 4 sources of foreign investment: Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Canada (as of 2011, the latest year available).

Finalizing both agreements will help Ohio sell more Made-in-America exports across the world and bolster American competitiveness in the global economy.

To view a fact sheet about Ohio’s record-breaking exports and unlocking economic opportunity for Ohioans through trade, click here.