Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited the Port of Miami to highlight President Obama's speech on the American Jobs Act and what it means to Floridians. Secretary Vilsack met with leaders from the Port and from the agricultural and business community to discuss the Administration's strategy to strengthen the U.S. economy.
At the Port, Secretary Vilsack highlighted the success story of agricultural exports to the economy in Florida and Miami-Dade County. Last year, $920 million of agricultural goods moved through the Port of Miami, nearly double what they did in 2006. And this year they are on pace to exceed that total by 8.5%. Those exports alone are helping support nearly 8,400 American jobs. The Port contributes more than $17 billion annually to the South Florida economy and accounts for approximately 176,000 direct and indirect jobs.
"The American Jobs Act will provide a tax cut for Florida's small businesses, immediately put teachers and first responders back to work, and provide construction workers a job improving highways and other critical infrastructure," said Vilsack. "The infrastructure projects the Port of Miami is working on will provide jobs for construction workers, and in the long run, keep the Port among the busiest in the nation. Congress needs to pass the American Jobs act now in order to put more Floridians back to work and put more money in the pockets of working Americans, all without adding a dime to the deficit."
The American Jobs Act includes helping communities that are dealing with crumbling infrastructure, so they can rebuild local roads and bridges and improve rail lines and water systems. Tax cuts in the bill would allow small businesses that employ most Americans to expand and hire. Tax credits would go to every working family and put money back in their pockets. Support will go to small town and county governments to keep teachers on the job preparing our children for a better future and firefighters and other first responders on the payroll to work to keep our families safe.
The American Jobs Act will be sent to Capitol Hill early next week and the Obama Administration will call on Congress to act on it immediately.