DATE: October 19, 2011
Full caption provided below
MEDIA CONTACT: Kimberly Maroe, Public Information Manager
Broward County Board of County Commissioners
Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca is praising the free trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia recently approved by Congress and expected to be signed by President Barack Obama on Friday.
“The Broward County Commission recognized early on that Colombia, Panama and South Korea are growing export markets for American products produced by American workers,” said Commissioner LaMarca. “United States exports accounted for roughly half of all U.S. economic growth last year, providing vital economic activity in a troubled economic climate. Port Everglades, the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Broward County stand ready to do business!”
Commissioner LaMarca made the comments at a news conference Tuesday at Port Everglades where he was joined by U.S. Congressman Allen West and Port Everglades Director Phil Allen.
"With South Florida being the gateway to Latin America, the Free Trade Agreements will support and create potentially hundreds of local jobs by leveling the playing field for U.S. goods and services. These long overdue trade agreements will increase exports, lower the trade deficit and stimulate much-needed U.S. economic growth,” said Congressman West.
Sixty-five percent of all international cargo activity at Port Everglades comes from South America and Central America. Port Everglades handles more containerized trade with Central America than any other U.S. seaport.
“Passage of these free trade agreements will strengthen our Port’s commerce in these trade regions and position us to benefit from increased Far East trade projected with the expansion of the Panama Canal in 2014,” said Allen.
Panama represents a growing segment of that trading region for Port Everglades with exports valued at $527 million and imports of $52 million shipped through Broward County during the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2010. Trade with Colombia, which is one of the Port’s top five international trading partners, was even stronger with exports valued at $537 million and imports at $294 million. Trade with South Korea during the last fiscal year totaled $48 million.
Photo Caption: Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca speaks in support of free trade agreements to stimulate the economy and create jobs. Joining Commissioner LaMarca are (l to r) Jose Diaz, president of Florida International Terminals; Manuel Almira, Port Director for Port of Palm Beach; Phil Allen, Port Everglades Director and U.S. Congressman Allen West.