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Press Release - Straight Talk On Trade Benefits For California

May 22, 2008

Straight Talk On Trade Benefits For California

  • Boosting California's Economy. California is the second largest exporting state. Its merchandise exports have increased nearly 45 percent since 2002, hitting $134.2 billion last year. Top products include Computers & Electronics ($43.7 billion); Machinery ($14.5 billion); Transportation Equipment ($13.7 billion); Chemicals ($10.4 billion); and Agriculture ($6.7 billion).

  • Helping Small Businesses. Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) generated more than two-fifths (43 percent) of California's total exports of merchandise in 2005. A total of 51,466 companies exported goods from California locations in 2005. Of those, 49,148 (95 percent) were SMEs, with fewer than 500 employees.

  • Expanding California's Markets Pending Trade Agreements. California exported $320 million to Colombia in 2007, up 117 percent since 2002; South Korea bought $7.4 billion of California's goods last year an increase of 57 percent over the same period.

  • Reaping NAFTA's Benefits. California's top two export markets are Canada and Mexico buying more than $34 billion of California's computers, machinery, and fruits and vegetables last year alone. Indeed, since NAFTA entered into force in 1994, California's combined exports to Canada and Mexico have increased by 167 percent.

  • Keeping California's Firms Competitive. Approximately half of U.S. merchandise imports are raw materials, capital goods and industrial products used by U.S. manufacturers to make their goods in the United States. These imports keep costs down and help California companies remain competitive at home and abroad.

  • Supporting California Jobs. As of 2005, 5.2 percent of all California manufacturing jobs were linked to exports. In 2004 trade (exports plus imports) supported almost 3.7 million California jobs, not only in manufacturing, but also in trade-related business services sectors like banking, finance, insurance, law, and retailing. In 2005, foreign companies employed 542,600 California workers, the most of any state.

  • Supporting California Farmers. Exports of California farm products support about 124,100 jobs both on and off the farm in food processing, storage and transportation. Agricultural exports in 2006 amounted to $10.5 billion, one-third of California's farm cash receipts ($31.4 billion).

John McCain, Press Release - Straight Talk On Trade Benefits For California Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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