Partnerships to Grow Arkansas’s Economy

Ninety-five percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the United States. As family farmers and entrepreneurs are looking to grow our stagnant economy, international markets can play a prominent role in growing Arkansas businesses to ultimately hire new workers and get our economy moving.

Last year new Free Trade Agreements with Panama and Colombia were ratified by Congress. When combined, these trade agreements have the potential to open up billions of dollars in new export opportunity for American companies. The Small Business Administration estimates less than one percent of America’s 30 million companies export – a percentage that is significantly lower than all other developed countries. Of U.S. companies that do export, 58 percent export to only one country. Now is the time for Arkansas businesses to seize the opportunity and substantially grow our state’s companies by providing goods to hungry new markets overseas.

In an effort to promote trade opportunities and grow Arkansas’s economy, last week I joined Senator Pryor and Senator Boozman on trade mission to Panama and Columbia. The Free Trade Agreements passed by Congress last year will eliminate Panamanian and Columbian tariffs on U.S. goods and foster new trade opportunities with the two Central American nations. I can see the day when families in Panama and Columbia are eating rice grown in Arkansas’s first district and using Arkansas cotton for textiles.

In Panama our delegation felt right at home. Panama’s president, Ricardo Martinelli is a Razorback. President Martinelli earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration at the University of Arkansas in the 1970s. In his office President Martinelli has a Razorback football helmet displayed and a picture of UofA’s Old Main building. Although I am a proud Red Wolf fan and an Arkansas State graduate, I was proud to learn President Martinelli went to college right here in Arkansas.

Our economy is beginning to show signs of growth. The Free Trade Agreements ratified late last year have the great potential to bolster Arkansas’s economy. Exporting our goods provides a direct flow of capital back into our rural communities and is a critical source of income to revitalize small-town economies. The Free Trade Agreements with Columbia and Panama will be vital to for renewing our economy and creating American jobs – particularly in rural areas. Our trade mission to Panama and Columbia was an important step towards helping our local businesses grow into new markets overseas.

Recent Posts


Crawford Statement on Passage of Continuing Resolution

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Sara Robertson (Sara.Robertson2@mail.house.gov) Crawford Statement on Passage of Continuing Resolution 1/18/2024 Washington — At the precipice of a partial government shutdown, the House and Senate approved a Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the government funded at last year’s spending levels until early March while negotiations for full year funding continue. Representative Rick Crawford (AR-01) […]



Dec 18, 2023
Economy

Crawford Statement on Acquisition of U.S. Steel by Nippon Steel Corporation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Sara Robertson (Sara.Robertson2@mail.house.gov) Crawford Statement on Acquisition of U.S. Steel by Nippon Steel Corporation 12/18/2023 Washington — Today, Representative Rick Crawford (AR-01), Chairman of the Congressional Steel Caucus, released the following statement in response to the acquisition of U.S. Steel by Nippon Steel Corporation. “Today’s announcement regarding the acquisition of U.S. Steel by […]



Dec 14, 2023
Press

Rep. Crawford Statement on Passage of FY24 NDAA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact: Sara Robertson (Sara.Robertson2@mail.house.gov) Rep. Crawford Statement on Passage of FY 24 NDAA 12/14/2023 Washington — Today, Representative Rick Crawford (AR-01) voted to support H.R. 2670, National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2024. “It’s vital that we pass this piece of legislation every year to ensure that our troops are properly equipped and trained […]