Trade is a vital engine and job creator for our economy. The Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute's (CHLI) Trade & International Affairs Symposium will bring together global executives, and senior government officials offering their expertise to improve competitiveness in trade.
I am honored to be the Chairman of this year's CHLI Trade and International Affairs Symposium at the Newseum in Washington D.C. on September 29th. This exceptional event will bring together world business leaders, global Ambassadors and leaders within our U.S. Congress to discuss important issues and help chart a course to make our nation more globally competitive. Highlights will include a keynote from Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank and a Global Ambassador Reception, chaired by the Honorable, Eduardo Medina-Mora, Ambassador of Mexico to the United States.
We live in a world that is getting flatter and more digitally connected every day. Countries compete for a better quality of life, human capital, and better jobs for their constituents. One important measure of a country's competitiveness is the size and growth of its GDP (Gross Domestic Product); a measure of goods and services produced over a given time. Trade is a vital component of GDP. For global economies, trade can complement products that countries are unable to produce themselves.
For those who like numbers, our global economy represents about $75 trillion. This is $75 trillion of goods produced, consumed, and traded annually around the globe. Our U.S. economy is the largest global economy representing around $17 trillion. We are working hard to grow this every year (from 2012 to 2013 we grew about 2.6%). Trade is a vital part of the U.S. economy representing $2.2 Trillion in goods exported and $2.7 trillion in goods imported.
Our U.S. economy is operating at a trade deficit; we import more than we export, negatively impacting our GDP. If we are able to export more than we import not only do we create more jobs locally but we also grow our overall economy more quickly than competing nations.
Trade decisions are made daily across America and across the globe by government officials and business leaders. Trade agreements are the result of different countries coming together to negotiate trade benefits as a block. Two agreements currently in the spotlight are the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Pacific Alliance because of their impact and growth. Additionally, decisions around regulations on security, tax policy, education, and trade incentives are just a few items that impact trade.
With the magnitude of dollars affected by trade, the impacts on trade related jobs, and growth of the competitiveness of the United States, we should be not only ensure trade is a priority but also ensure we have the best policies to improve our global position.
David Olivencia is member of the Board of Directors of the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI), and Chair of the 2014 CHLI Trade & International Affairs Symposium. He is a Senior Vice-President of Media, Communications, & Technology Industries for Global IT Solutions Provider Softtek