In an era of economic uncertainty, the American consumer is likely to be more frugal, so we cannot rely on domestic consumption alone to generate more demand for the goods and services we produce. It is obvious that we must look beyond our national boundaries for overseas markets to sell the products we make here at home.
In fact, we do not have to look too hard to see many prospective customers, clients and consumers. Beyond our borders are markets that represent 73% of the world’s purchasing power, 87% of its economic growth and 95% of its consumers.
In New Jersey, we are well positioned to take advantage of the search for new overseas customers. Our Port of New York and New Jersey is a major gateway for the region. Each year, $80 billion in commerce flows through the port. 130,500 jobs in New Jersey depend on international trade!
This is why I have been a strong proponent of expanding trade opportunities for American businesses and the workers they employ.
Back in November of 2011, the House passed Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) between the U.S. and the nations of South Korea, Colombia, and Panama, which had been originally negotiated over four years before!
Studies predict that these agreements will create 250,000 jobs and increase our nation’s economic output, or Gross Domestic Product, by $11 billion!
These agreements will allow for New Jersey companies and others across the nation to export more of their domestically produced goods and services. Particular industries in our area that are anticipating significant increases due to these agreements include chemical manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, aircraft production, produce, and financial services, just to name a few.
Now Congress must work to further open foreign markets for expanded trade, creating more overseas customers for U.S. goods!