Exports drive South Florida trade growth
Exports, driven in part by favorable currency rates, which are making U.S. goods more affordable in Latin America and the Caribbean Basin, have become the leading source of trade growth in South Florida.
That was the emphasis of speakers addressing the impacts of currency and trade growth at a luncheon Wednesday sponsored by the Florida Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association.
Armando Varona, director of sales and marketing at Seaboard Marine, said U.S. exports are growing faster than imports in the markets served by his company. He noted the Miami Customs District reported $72 billion in exports last year, ranking South Florida second only to the Seattle district in terms of export volumes. Seattle, which houses manufacturing operations for Chicago-based aircraft company Boeing, generally leads the nation in export values when the world markets for aircraft are strong.
Varona said trade agreements, including the North American Free Trade Agreement and the more recent Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement, have helped drive U.S. exports to Latin America, adding that new trade agreements in the works will further increase exports.
Stressing the importance of what has been accomplished so far, he said: 'The magnitude of ratified agreements has been huge.'