DATE: May 3, 2012
MEDIA CONTACT: Kimberly Maroe, Public Information Manager
Broward County Board of County Commissioners
To increase awareness about the importance of international trade as a major contributor to job creation and corporate growth, Broward County’s Board of County Commissioners passed a resolution this week affirming May as "World Trade Month." World Trade Month is a state and federal initiative. As 55 percent of Florida’s nearly $150 billion in international trade comes through Florida’s seaports, the resolution recognized Port Everglades for successfully growing global partnerships in more than 130 countries around the world.
“Florida’s ports, such as Port Everglades, are poised for growth, especially on the trade routes to and from South America, Central America and the Caribbean,” said Steven Cernak, Port Everglades Chief Executive/Port Director. “Expanding and maintaining our seaports and transportation corridors is essential for Florida to set the path for growth and prosperity in the global arena.”
More than $13.3 billion worth of export goods moved through Port Everglades in calendar year 2011, making Broward County’s seaport the top seaport in Florida for exports. Exports support 79,800 U.S. jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, that estimates every $1 billion in exports supports 6,000 U.S. jobs.
“World Trade Month provides an opportunity to reaffirm the benefits of trade and to emphasize America's commitment to a global marketplace that creates good jobs and lifts up American families,” said Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness at Tuesday’s meeting where the Commission approved the resolution. “The United States and our trading partners stand to gain when trade is open, transparent, rule based and fair, showing respect for labor and environmental standards.”
In addition, Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) No. 25 at Port Everglades leads Florida in the value of international goods handled through its facilities, according to findings released in mid-2011 by the National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones (NAFTZ). The findings featured a state-by-state report, based upon 2009 statistics, which validated that 65 percent of all Florida FTZ exports were handled through Port Everglades' FTZ No. 25, valued at more than $1.1 billion.
The Florida Ports Council, which represents Florida’s 15 public seaports, reports that more than half of Florida’s nearly $150 billion in international trade comes through Florida’s seaports, making international trade and growing global partnerships critical to our ports and Florida as a whole.
“World Trade Month is an opportunity to educate the public and the state’s leadership on the positive economic impact ports make on our state,” said Doug Wheeler, president of the Florida Ports Council. “We are proud to work with Governor Scott, Enterprise Florida, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, World Trade Miami and all of our seaports in celebrating international trade in Florida.”
Florida Gov. Rick Scott recently signed a resolution proclaiming May as Florida World Trade Month, for the first time bringing a statewide approach to what has largely been a South Florida focus.
As one of South Florida’s leading economic powerhouses, Port Everglades is the gateway for international trade and cruise vacations. Already the second busiest cruise port worldwide, Port Everglades is also one of the nation’s leading container ports. Port Everglades is also South Florida’s main seaport for receiving petroleum products, including gasoline, jet fuel and alternative fuels. The Port Everglades Department is a self-supporting Enterprise Fund of Broward County government with operating revenues of approximately $139 million in Fiscal Year 2011 (October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011). It does not rely on local tax dollars for operations. The total value of economic activity at Port Everglades is almost $15.3 billion. More than 160,000 Florida jobs are impacted by the Port, including more than 11,400 people who work for companies that provide direct services to Port Everglades. More information on Port Everglades, which is governed by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners, is available on the Internet at porteverglades.net or email to PortEverglades@broward.org.