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Florida TaxWatch Analyzes Economic Impact of International Trade in Florida, Identifies Opportunities for Growth

Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Florida TaxWatch (FTW) is releasing an economic commentary entitled International Trade as a Catalyst for Florida’s Economy. The report outlines changes in Florida’s international trade over time – underscoring the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic – while analyzing the economic impact in the state and presenting it as a global trading hub. The trusted taxpayer research institute also identifies opportunities for future trade growth.

Florida TaxWatch President and CEO Dominic M. Calabro said, “Florida is uniquely positioned to facilitate international trade, despite a significant decline during the pandemic and ongoing risks associated with conflicts abroad. In fact, projections for the remainder of 2022 indicate the state’s monthly exports are poised to steadily increase – averaging $5.6 billion by the end of the year – a testament to our ‘open-for-work’ stance and strong manufacturing sector, as well as burgeoning consumer demand.

“Moving forward, resilience must be at the forefront of Florida’s international trade strategy, ensuring we continue generating the considerable economic benefits we have seen coming out of the pandemic. We must continue prioritizing manufacturing and encourage production in high-value, export-intensive industries, while supporting partners like Enterprise Florida to foster emerging global trade networks and connect small- and medium-sized producers in the state to markets across the world. With tools such as Connex Florida, we must also aim to mitigate abating, yet unpredictable supply chain disruptions that lead to backlogs, delayed delivery times, and increased shipping costs.   

“On behalf of hard-working Floridians and their families, Florida TaxWatch stands ready to provide the research and insight necessary to assist state leaders in these efforts and thereby catalyze our future economic prosperity through international trade.”

According to FTW, between 2010 and 2019, Florida’s total international trade grew in value from $111.6 billion to $137.7 billion. After the onset of the pandemic in 2020, however, it slowed to a near standstill, with the value dropping 11 percent to $122.5 billion. Yet by the end of 2021, the state’s total international trade rebounded to a value of $149.1 billion, higher than pre-pandemic levels.

Also in 2021, Florida ranked seventh in the nation for state exports, with civilian aircraft, engines, and parts topping the list of leading exported products (11.8 percent), followed by telephones for cellular networks (7.6 percent), automatic data processing machines (4.9 percent), and electronic integrated circuits (3.5 percent). By the end of 2022, FTW forecasts show that Florida exports will cumulatively total $65.9 billion, an estimated 18.9 percent increase from $55.5 billion in 2021. 

FTW notes this progress benefits Florida families, as state exports directly support more than 223,000 high-paying jobs, with 93 percent in manufacturing. Benefits extend to non-exporting sectors as well, including agriculture and transportation, and internationally traded goods can also reduce prices by increasing consumer choice for food, electronics, and other products.  

Entering 2022, international trade was expected to rise by 4.7 percent year-over-year, but because of geopolitical tensions in eastern Europe and escalating commodity prices, that prediction fell to 3 percent. While Florida will still experience growth – the result of a range of circumstances – FTW emphasizes the need for proactive efforts to invest in the state’s manufacturing sector, supply chain resiliency, export capacity, and trade opportunities with partners in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

For more information and to access the full report, please click here.

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