As our economy struggles to right its course, we should be exploring every avenue to boost businesses and create jobs. The global trade market is one area which represents a tremendous opportunity for Nebraska's small and medium-sized businesses.
It is fitting we are in the midst of celebrating World Trade Month, which honors and celebrates the nearly 300,000 American businesses which support millions of American jobs. Export markets are an integral part of America's economic recovery, and I want to make sure Nebraska products and producers make the most of the opportunities provided by international sales.
Beyond the U.S. lies 73 percent of the world's purchasing power, 87 percent of its economic growth and 95 percent of the globe's consumers. More than 50 million Americans work for companies which engage in global sales, and one in three acres of American farmland grows food for consumers overseas. International markets provide the average American family $9,000 more a year in purchasing power.
In 2008 Nebraska exported $5.4 billion in manufactured goods, which supported more than 34,000 jobs. That same year, we exported $5.9 billion in agricultural products, supporting more than 68,000 ag jobs.
Nearly 80 percent of the 1,200 Nebraska companies which exported goods in 2007 were small and medium-sized enterprises.
Unfortunately, approval of pending trade agreements with countries such as Colombia, South Korea, and Panama have languished awaiting approval by Congress. Every day we delay, the more ground our nation and our economy lose to our international competitors.
Opening new and strengthening existing markets is tremendously important to Nebraska. It is a priority of mine to help Nebraska's producers and industries compete and succeed in the global market.
To explore this topic further, on June 3rd, I will be hosting a seminar entitled "Export 2010" at the University of Nebraska-Kearney. This educational and enlightening program is ideal for Nebraska small and medium-sized businesses interested in growing their export business by tapping into international markets.
Experts from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Department of Commerce, University of Nebraska, Small Business Administration, and the Export-Import Bank of the United States will join me for the event, which is free and open to the public. The seminar also will feature Nebraska businesses detailing their experiences and lessons learned through exporting products to the global marketplace, as well as information for those just starting to export.
I'm very pleased my friend and colleague Governor Dave Heineman will be delivering the keynote address. Governor Heineman has long been a proponent of trade opportunities for Nebraska and I look forward to hearing his insights.
Seating is limited, so if you are interested in attending the June 3rd seminar, I encourage you to register by calling my Grand Island office at 308-384-3900. You also can send an e-mail to: RSVPtoAdrian@mail.house.gov or visit my website at http://adriansmith.house.gov.
International markets are an indispensable part of our economic recovery, and I want to help Nebraska companies make full use of the lessons learned from the experience of our seminar speakers. In order for Nebraska businesses to grow and succeed, they need to have the resources and knowledge to tap into these potential new customers. Export 2010 is designed to give our businesses these tools.