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Politics / Issues

Obama: 46 Percent Increase in Trade a "Big Deal for Tampa"

Obama at Tampa Port.JPG
Steve Newborn/WUSF
Pres. Barack Obama waves to reporters at the Port of Tampa.

The Port of Tampa is key to increasing exports of U.S. goods – that’s the message that President Barack Obama delivered during a brief visit Friday on his way to the Summit of the Americas in Colombia.

Surrounded by stacked shipping containers with an American flag flying above, President Obama delivered a 10-minute speech to an enthusiastic, invited crowd of about 100 people at the port. He also took a quick tour of port facilities.

“Tampa is one of the biggest ports in the country and a lot of the business being done here has to do with trade between us and Latin America,” President Obama said. “So the fact that it’s gone up 46 percent since 2009 (in the western hemisphere) is a big deal for Tampa.”

The president also said his promise to double U.S. exports overall by 2014 is on track.

"Soon there are going to be millions of customers for American goods in South Korea, Panama and Colombia,” President Obama said.