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Monday, October 08 2018
The Canada | Florida Love Story

ORLANDO, Fla.—Let’s talk about the importance of including Canada in the new NAFTA deal. The deal, if approved by Congress and the legislative bodies in Canada and Mexico, would take effect around 2020, before that happens, there are a number of hurdles that require clearing — and in the meantime, old NAFTA is still in effect. 

Perhaps most people are unaware of the importance of Canadian business to the state of Florida. Canada ranks top in visitors, ranks second in foreign investment and in exports, and ranks number three in imports to our state. Also, Canada is the #1 customer for U.S. goods and Florida benefits greatly from it.

According to the Florida Chamber of Commerce 2017, Canada is the only country with those high rankings in those four important Florida economic indicators. More than 580 subsidiaries of Canadian companies call Florida home, including 81 in Hillsborough County and 25 in Pinellas. Only the United Kingdom has a bigger footprint in Florida.

Last year, Florida and Canada enjoyed more than $7 billion in trade, which supported about 600,000 jobs in the state, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Canadian government reported. Much of the trade is highly integrated — companies in both places rely on each other as part of their supply chain and distribution network but not all the exports are that integrated. Florida sends far more agricultural products to Canada, especially in the winter. To give you a clear idea, Canada is the largest foreign consumer of Florida’s produce, gobbling up more than $800 million worth of oranges, strawberries, bell peppers, and other fruits and vegetables. Canada sends back a lot more meat, grains, furniture, fuel, and wood products.

But on the other hand, as a true example of its integrated logistics, Canada sends organic chemicals used by Florida’s fertilizer and pharmaceutical manufacturing companies. Some strawberry seedlings begin their process in Canada, to then be turned into fruit by Florida farmers in order to sell them back to Canadians. If you don’t call this love, we don’t what you would call it!

It works the same way with airplane parts. Aircraft assemblers in Florida look to Canadian parts suppliers to feed their production, while Canadian companies depend on Florida to boost their U.S. and Latin American sales.

Last year, Florida and Canada enjoyed more than $7 billion in trade, which supported about 600,000 jobs in the state, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Canadian government reported. Florida sent almost $3.6 billion in exports to Canada, second only to the nearly $4.1 billion exported to Brazil, according to TradeStats Express. About 22 percent came from the Tampa Bay area.

As reported on October 1st by, the new deal allows the United States to supply the equivalent of 3.6 percent of Canada's dairy market tariff-free, up from the existing 1 percent. It also eliminates a milk ingredient pricing policy that incentivized Canadian cheese producers to use local ingredients. It also seeks to increase the number of truck parts made in North America by raising the proportion of North American parts and inputs that must be used in a car for it to qualify for duty-free treatment but that it the part of the story where Mexico also comes into play.

Posted by: AT 12:17 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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