As you read this, about 31 million Americans are at work in jobs that are directly supported by international trade. Nearly one in every five U.S. jobs are linked to exports and imports of goods and services.
Contrary to popular belief, the United States remains the world’s largest manufacturer. Since NAFTA was launched, U.S. manufacturers have boosted their output by more than 50%; U.S. factories account for over 20% of the worlds manufacturing output. Indeed, in California alone, more than 700,000 jobs are supported by the $117 billion in manufactured exports from the state to the rest of the world.
This week-long observance of the absolute relevance of international trade to the US economy began in 1926 – like today, a most notable period of economic angst and isolationist leanings. The idea was hatched by the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, who sought ways to promote growth for the booming southern Cal region and the new Port of Los Angeles.
Hat’s off to the resourceful folks at the US Chamber of Commerce whose website, TradeRoots.org, is chock full of trade data.
This month, the southern Cal region is still on it. In the remaining days of May, there will be gatherings in Santa Ana (Mexico Trade Outlook) and downtown LA (The Americas Business Forum) featuring some progressive, hard-working teams of government and trade officials. I will attend both, and will let you know how they go!