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Fact Sheet: A Day in Miami: President Bush Highlights Economic Growth and Hurricane Preparedness Efforts

July 31, 2006

"Miami's a strong and vibrant city. And because your economy is strong and vibrant ... you've helped this State's economy grow, and you've helped the country grow."

– President George W. Bush, 7/31/06

Today, In Miami, President Bush Highlighted America's Economic Growth And Hurricane Preparedness Efforts With Remarks At The Port Of Miami And A Tour Of The National Hurricane Center. The President's visit also included dinner at Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant in Miami Beach and breakfast with business leaders at the Versailles restaurant in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood. In addition, the President participated in an interview with Radio Mambi and will participate in interviews with WPLG-TV Miami, Telemundo, and FOX News.

America 's Economy – And Florida's Economy – Are Strong And Growing Stronger

This Morning, The President Highlighted America's Strong Economy During A Visit To The U.S. Coast Guard Integrated Support Command At The Port Of Miami. The President will also take a tour of the Port of Miami, the largest container port in Florida and the largest cruise port in the world.

  • Over The Past Three Years, The Miami-Ft. Lauderdale Metropolitan Area Has Created More Than 205,000 Jobs. The unemployment rate in the area is down to 3.2 percent – well below the national average.
    • Miami 's Tourism Sector Is Booming. Miami had more than 11 million visitors last year.
  • Since August 2003, America Has Created More Than 5.4 Million New Jobs – More Than Japan And The 25 Nations Of The European Union Combined. Our economy grew at a strong annual rate of 4 percent in the first half of 2006, and America's unemployment rate is 4.6 percent, below the average of each of the past four decades.
  • Economic Growth Depends On Keeping America Secure, And President Bush Has Made Port Security One Of His Top Priorities. Since September 11, 2001, the Administration has:
    • Provided $700 million in grants to enhance physical security at our ports, including nearly $25 million for the Port of Miami;
    • Increased funding for the Coast Guard by almost $2.9 billion – a 75 percent jump – so it can conduct more patrols and port inspections;
    • Deployed state-of-the-art technology, such as X-Ray and Gamma-Ray scanners, to screen cargo containers; and
    • Launched the Container Security Initiative to identify and inspect suspicious cargo containers at foreign ports before they depart for America

Keeping Our Economy Growing Demands Seizing The Opportunities Of The Global Economy

As Long As America Welcomes Trade And Competes With Confidence, We Will Remain The Economic Leader Of The World. More trade leads to more jobs for workers, more income for businesses, more choices for consumers, and more tax revenue for State and local governments.

  • Overall, The Countries That America Has Free Trade Agreements Or With Which We Are Working To Enter Into Agreements Account For About 14 Percent Of The World Economy – But Purchase About 52 Percent Of American Goods Exports. In the past year, American exports have increased more than 12 percent.
  • International Trade Is One Of The Key Reasons For Miami's Prosperity. More than 120,000 jobs in the Miami area are supported by trade, and on average, these jobs pay higher than jobs unrelated to trade. Last year, the Port of Miami conducted almost $21 billion dollars worth of international trade.
  • Florida 's Economy Shows America Flourishes When We Open More Markets For Our Products Overseas.
    • In the 12 years since Congress passed the North American Free Trade Agreement, Florida exports to Mexico have nearly tripled.
    • In the two years since the Administration completed a free trade agreement with Chile, Florida exports to Chile have jumped by forty percent.
    • The Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement passed last summer will significantly benefit the Port of Miami, which handles nearly half of all American exports to Central America.

The Administration Continues To Pursue A Successful Conclusion To The Doha Talks. President Bush has pledged that the United States will eliminate all subsidies, tariffs, and other barriers to free trade, as long as other countries treat us fairly and do the same. Doha is a once-in-a-generation chance to jumpstart global trade and create new opportunities for the entire world, and the benefits are too great to give in to protectionism.

As We Work To Open Markets To American Goods, We Must Ensure That America Remains An Open Society To New Immigrants Who Add To Our Economy And Prosperity. We need comprehensive immigration reform that will secure our borders, enhance worksite enforcement, create a temporary worker program, resolve the status of illegal immigrants already here, and promote assimilation into the American culture, including learning English.

The Federal Government Is Prepared For Hurricane Season

This Morning, The President Visited The National Hurricane Center. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) maintains a continuous watch on tropical cyclones over the Atlantic, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and the Eastern Pacific from May 15 through November 30. The Center prepares and distributes hurricane watches and warnings for the general public, and also prepares and distributes marine and military advisories for other users.

Federal Disaster Response Capability Has Greatly Advanced Since Last Year's Hurricane Season. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is dramatically increasing the nation's stockpiles of relief supplies, retooling FEMA for the 21st century, updating disaster plans, supporting State and local partners, and emphasizing individual and community preparedness.

DHS Has Dramatically Increased The Nation's Stockpiles Of Relief Supplies

DHS Has Four Times The Emergency Meals And Ice, And 2.5 Times The Water Available This Year Than Were Available Prior To Hurricane Katrina. These supplies have the capacity to sustain 1 million people for a period of one week.

Pre-Katrina Post-Katrina % Increase Service Capacity
MREs 180 truckloads 770 truckloads +300% 1 truckload serves 10,000 people/day
Water 600 truckloads 1,500 truckloads +150% 1 truckload serves 5,000 people/day
Ice 430 truckloads 2,000+ truckloads +400% 1 truckload serves 5,000 people/day
Disaster Assistance Employees Approximately 4,000 employees Approximately 8,000 employees +100% N/A

George W. Bush, Fact Sheet: A Day in Miami: President Bush Highlights Economic Growth and Hurricane Preparedness Efforts Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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