As part of President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI) to double U.S. commercial exports by the end of 2014, thereby creating or supporting several million American jobs, U.S. Commerce Under Secretary Francisco Sanchez and top officials from a number of major local economic entities signed a joint memorandum of intent (MOI) at the Tampa Port Authority’s headquarters today.
The memorandum signifies a working relationship between the U.S. Department of Commerce, the International Trade Administration and the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, the City of Tampa, and their partners, the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority, Small Business Development Center at the University of South Florida, Tampa Bay Partnership, Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation, University of South Florida, University of Tampa and the Tampa Port Authority, in support of the National Export Initiative. Partnering efforts will include communications and exchange of strategies to bolster international trade and U.S. exports.
The purpose of the memorandum is essentially to stimulate economic growth and global trade by way of collaborative international initiatives and investments. Today’s signing brings together some of the region’s largest economic development groups and business incubators in order to meet the economy-centered goals first outlined in President Obama’s 2010 State of the Union address and to create a solidified partnership approach moving forward. The Tampa region is well positioned as a transportation and shipping hub in one of Florida’s fastest growing regions.
The memorandum includes signatures by:
Francisco Sanchez, Under Secretary, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce,
The Honorable Bob Buckhorn, Mayor, City of Tampa,
Sandra Murman, Vice Chair, Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners,
Richard Wainio, Port Director & CEO, Tampa Port Authority,
Joe Lopano, CEO, Hillsborough County Aviation Authority,
Eileen Rodriguez, Regional Director, Small Business Development Center at the University of South Florida,
Gordon Gillette, Chair Elect, Executive Committee, Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation,
Stuart Rogel, President and CEO, Tampa Bay Partnership,
Maria Crummett, Ph.D, Associate Vice President for Global Affairs, University of South Florida,
Ron Vaughn, President, University of Tampa.
“Florida knows the important role exports play for our local and national economic stability. This partnership that we formalized today builds on our shared interest in increasing local exports which can result in new jobs, higher wages and economic growth,” Under Secretary Sanchez said. “This MOI is a critical step toward achieving these goals, and I look forward to continuing to work with my Tampa colleagues to improve economic opportunities for this region.”
U.S. Congresswoman Kathy Castor also took part in today’s event and expressed her strong support for this initiative.
Tampa Port Authority Port Director and CEO, Richard Wainio said, “The Tampa Port Authority is very pleased to be site host for this important signing event. We are extremely proud partners in a collaborative effort that will encourage development of not only international trade for our large and growing region, but also a true benchmark toward developing a global mindset that must be cultivated in order to be successful in foreign markets, now and well into the future.”
Dredging Today Staff, February 7, 2012; Images: tampaport