Teams representing 32 nations are now making their way to Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Focused preparation, skilled competition, and fervent nationalism will be on display for the world. These same attributes can also be applied to the world of international trade. Unlike the World Cup which produces a single winner, the goal of international trade should be to produce many winners over time in the long run.
World Cup teams benefit when specialization occurs among players which is also true in international trade. Countries have different resources and different strengths and should play to their strengths if they wish to be successful in International Trade. While this theory is regularly debated, each country should be able to receive more varieties and qualities of goods by optimally allocating and efficiently using its resources than if the country were self-sufficient. Just as billions will be watching the World Cup, International Trade allows companies to expose their products and services to a global audience which may help to reduce the risk of selling in a single market and spread production costs over more sales volume.
The region to our South is very important to Florida today and in the future. In 2005, the value of U.S.-made goods exported to Brazil was $15.4 billion. In 2008, the value increased to $32.3 billion (source: Florida TaxWatch). Brazil is Florida’s top merchandise destination for exports followed by Colombia, Venezuela, China, and Argentina. Florida accounts for 28.4 percent of total U.S. trade with Latin America and the Caribbean, 25 percent of total U.S. trade with South America, 36.7 percent of total trade with Central America, and 36.8 percent with the Caribbean (source: Enterprise Florida).
Florida needs to recognize the opportunities presented by our southern neighbors and build on its own strengths (civilian aircraft, computer accessories, telecommunications equipment, healthcare, fertilizer, and many more). Central and South America have already recognized Florida as a great trading partner for their goods and both economies are benefitting from the partnerships created over the years. It makes sense to embrace International Trade with the same excitement and passion as World Cup Soccer because long after the games are over… International Trade will still be producing world class winners.
Elizabeth A. Krekel - Project Coordinator