Democratic House Leader Armond Budish sent a letter to Gov. Kasich urging him to reconsider closing the Ohio foreign trade offices and the Global Markets Division of the Ohio Department of Development. The announcement that all eleven trade offices will close as the division will be eliminated due to the new JobsOhio plan was made this week. A copy of the letter is below.
Dear Governor Kasich:
I write to you today to urge that you reconsider the closing of the Ohio foreign trade offices and the Global Markets Division of the Ohio Department of Development. The elimination of these offices will only further hinder Ohio’s economic growth and recovery in already difficult times.
In today’s highly competitive global economy, it is critical that we have international representation not only to help connect Ohio products to markets abroad, but also to help attract new companies to Ohio.
Attracting foreign companies to Ohio has been a bright spot in Ohio’s economic development efforts. Over the last several years, Ohio’s ability to attract foreign companies has yielded very positive results. According to your administration’s website, nearly 200,000 Ohioans hold jobs because of the 3,363 foreign-based companies from more than 40 countries doing business right here in Ohio.
Furthermore, the Global Markets Division has helped Ohio become a leading exporter over the last decade, consistently ranking our state in the top ten exporting states nationally. In 2010, Ohio was ranked eighth in the U.S. exporting $41.4 billion in products and goods.
Clearly, the Global Markets Division has a proven track record and is well respected globally and throughout the United States. Ohio’s Global Markets Division has become a business development model for other states looking to grow their exports and import job-creating businesses to their states.
Closing these offices sends a terrible message to the world about our economic viability and attractiveness. Frankly, it is my view that eliminating this well respected and established program will hurt Ohio’s ability to attract new business from around the world, and will potentially destroy partnerships that help support Ohio’s economy.
At a time when our economy is so fragile and when the unemployment rate increased for the first time in over 14 months, we must do everything we can to bring jobs to Ohio and foster economic growth. Again, I urge you to reconsider eliminating the Global Markets Division of the Department of Development.
House Minority Leader