Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 091756
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File Number: 091756 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-863-09 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: TRADE PROMOTION AGREEMENTS WITH BOTH COLOMBIA AND PANAMA Introduced: 6/2/2009
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 6/30/2009
Agenda Date: 6/30/2009 Agenda Item Number: 11A5
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION URGING PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ADMINISTRATION TO FACILITATE AND CONGRESS TO APPROVE TRADE PROMOTION AGREEMENTS WITH BOTH COLOMBIA AND PANAMA
Indexes: LEGISLATURE
Sponsors: Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Prime Sponsor
  Joe A. Martinez, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 6/30/2009 11A5 Adopted P

County Attorney 6/2/2009 Assigned Jess M. McCarty

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ADMINISTRATION TO FACILITATE AND CONGRESS TO APPROVE TRADE PROMOTION AGREEMENTS WITH BOTH COLOMBIA AND PANAMA

BODY
WHEREAS, in Miami-Dade County, trade is the driving forces of our local economy, and Colombia and Panama both play important roles in Miami-Dade County trade; and
WHEREAS, Colombia and Panama are among our top trading partners, contributing over $5 billion in total trade annually; and
WHEREAS, in 2007, Florida exported over $2.1 billion worth of merchandise to Columbia; and
WHEREAS, Colombia is currently Florida’s fifth-ranked export market, valued at $2,060,172,000 in 2007; and
WHEREAS, Florida's top exports to Colombia and Panama include computers and electronic products and transportation equipment; and
WHEREAS, Colombia is the largest air trading partner for Miami International Airport serving over 147 weekly passenger flights and 86 all-cargo flights; and
WHEREAS, Colombian floriculture generates an estimated 225,000 jobs in the United States; and
WHEREAS, in 2006, over 250,000 Colombians visited Miami and contributed $321 million to Florida's economy; and
WHEREAS, approximately 200,000 Colombian-Americans reside in the State of Florida; and
WHEREAS, Colombia is not only a prominent trade partner with the U.S., but has in recent decades emerged as a close military and political ally of the U.S.; and
WHEREAS, Colombia is one of the 49 nations that comprised the Coalition of the Willing related to the Iraq War, and is slated to be the first Latin American country to send troops to Afghanistan this year; and
WHEREAS, Colombia trails only Israel, Egypt and Iraq among the world's U.S. aid recipients, with Colombia receiving more than $6 billion in U.S. aid since the year 2000; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. has provided Colombia with military assistance in Colombia's campaign against the drug-funded Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which is Latin America's longest-running insurgency; and
WHEREAS, a free trade agreement between the U.S. and Colombia will advance our national security by strengthening a key democratic ally; and
WHEREAS, Colombia is the longest standing democracy in South America, is the strongest ally to the U.S. in the region and now serves as a stabilizing influence in the region; and
WHEREAS, in 2007, Florida exported over $779 million worth of merchandise to Panama, which was up 130% over the 2003 level of $339 million; and
WHEREAS, the Port of Miami supports 175,000 jobs that produce an annual impact of over $17 billion; and
WHEREAS, maintaining and expanding on our positive trade relationship with Panama, in addition to Colombia, is particularly critical in light of the planned $5.25 billion expansion of the Panama Canal, an infrastructure project that will influence trade patterns and affect U.S. port growth for decades to come; and
WHEREAS, the Panama Canal is a critical trans-ocean shipping lane that plays a vital role for moving people and cargo from one side of the globe to the other; and
WHEREAS, the Port of Miami is the closest East Coast port to the Panama Canal and is therefore ideally positioned to advantage of increased trade from the expanded canal; and
WHEREAS, the Port of Miami is working to deepen its channel to take advantage of the expected improvements to the Panama Canal and double the amount of cargo we currently process; and
WHEREAS, among the fifty states, Florida is ranked second in exports to Colombia; and
WHEREAS, Florida exports to Colombia accounted for 23 percent of U.S. exports to Colombia during the last two years in areas including agriculture, transportation equipment, and electronic products; and
WHEREAS, Colombia is among Miami-Dade’s top five trading partners; and
WHEREAS, among the fifty states, Florida is ranked first in exports to Panama; and
WHEREAS, Panama is among Miami-Dade’s top 25 trading partners; and
WHEREAS, small and medium-sized firms generated nearly two-thirds (61 percent) of Florida’s total exports of merchandise in 2005, which was the highest figure among the 50 states; and
WHEREAS, increased trade with these two partners will boost exports and create thousands of new jobs across the state; and
WHEREAS, Trade Promotion Agreements between the U.S. and Colombia and between the U.S. and Panama would further enhance trade between allies; and
WHEREAS, Colombia approved a Trade Promotion Agreement with the U.S. in June 2007 and Panama approved one with the U.S. in July 2007, and both agreements must now be approved by the U.S. Congress; and
WHEREAS, it is of utmost importance that the U.S. Congress approve Trade Promotion Agreements with both Colombia and Panama,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Urges President Obama’s Administration to support and U.S. Congress to schedule hearings and approve Trade Promotion Agreements with both Colombia and Panama.
Section 2. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit a certified copy of this resolution to the members of the Miami-Dade County Congressional Delegation.
Section 3. Directs the County's federal lobbyists to advocate for the passage of the legislation set forth in Section 1 above, and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to include this item in the 2009 and 2010 Federal Legislative Packages.



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