Rick Scott Defends Overseas Trade Missions, Pitches Florida for Research
Around the State
Ever acting as Florida’s pitchman, Gov. Rick Scott defended the trade missions he has led for Florida and the one planned for December to Colombia as he appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box on Monday.
Questioned that there didn’t appear to be many significant trade deals from the Enterprise Florida-directed missions, Scott said such deals take time.
“I call on business people, I promote business,” Scott said.
“You got to do the right things, follow the laws and follow the rules and all those things but I want you in Florida.”
As an example, he pointed to the 2007 U.S. free-trade agreement with the Republic of Korea (South Korea) that was renegotiated in 2010 before finally being approved by Congress in October 2011.
“We've done six trade delegations. I've done Panama for the (Panama) Canal because we've got 15 seaports, that's a big opportunity for us,” Scott said.
“I've done Brazil, our biggest trading partner; Canada, another big trading partner; England, did the air show. We're the second biggest aviation aerospace in the country.
“You can criticize there haven't been a lot of significant, substantial trade deals federally. Look how long it took to get the free-trade agreements with South Korea and Colombia.”
The USA-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement written in 2006 also made it through Congress in October 2011.
The Scott-led Enterprise Florida mission to Colombia is set for Dec. 2-5. The deadline to register is Oct. 22.
During his appearance, Scott said Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney can win the Sunshine State and its 27 delegates -- Romney was up 5 percentage points in the latest Public Policy Polling over President Obama on Monday -- by continuing to focus on job creation and the economy, and mostly by emulating actions Florida has pushed the past two years.
“You got to downsize the size of government, balance the budget, quit scaring people their taxes will have to go up, streamline the permitting process,” Scott said.
With a focus on high-tech businesses and efforts by the University of Florida to team with research companies, Scott expressed confidence that the UF Gators can defeat South Carolina on Saturday in football and also gave out his office phone number for those wanting to discuss moving a business to Florida.
“What people complain about the federal government is there's nobody to talk to, and there's no positive attitude about business, and in our state you can call me, it's 850-488-5603,” Scott said.
Watch the first part of Scott’s appearance on CNBC here.
Reach Jim Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (772) 215-9889.