What states export the most agricultural products to Cuba?
Cuba, a nation of approximately 11 million people, is a food-insecure country, importing up to 80 percent of its food. The nation’s primary imports in 2015 included rice (14 percent), poultry (13 percent), dairy (12 percent), soy products (12 percent) and wheat (12 percent).
Agricultural exports to Cuba were authorized under the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000. Given Cuba’s economic and geographic position, Southern states have become leaders in agricultural exports to Cuba, comprising nine of the top 10 exporting states in 2015.
Reinforcing their dominant position, Southern states also are leaders in overall exports of Cuba’s most-imported agricultural products: rice and poultry. In 2014, four Southern states were among the top five rice-exporting states (Arkansas, at $809.3 million; California, at $644 million; Louisiana, at $258.9 million; Missouri, at $96.6 million; and Texas, at $92.8 million). Similarly, Southern states constituted all five of the top broiler-exporting states in 2014 (Georgia, at $596.3 million; Alabama, at $478 million; North Carolina, at $477.5 million; Arkansas, at $475 million; Mississippi, at $356.2 million; and Texas, at $280.5 million).
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|U.S. State||2006||2009||Percent Change||2012||Percent Change||2015||Percent Change|
State and Local Government Efforts to Regulate Airbnb
Generally, the "sharing economy" describes business models that facilitate peer-to-peer exchanges of personal goods or services, such as a car ride through Lyft, Uber, or Sidecar, or a vacation rental through Airbnb, Flipkey, Homeaway, or VRBO. Example number one in this connection is Airbnb, a development confirmed by the fact that in December 2015, the company had a valuation of $25.5 billion, a staggering amount; in the third quarter of 2015, the company also reported revenues of $340 million.
In a trend reflected by other aspects of the 21st century economy, i.e., the emergence of e-Commerce as a major dimension of contemporary commerce and the fact that a large portion of these e-Commerce transactions occur without state and local governments capturing sales taxes, many jurisdictions faced a number of new challenges with the rise of Airbnb as an option pursued by consumers across the country. One of these challenges was that consumers did not routinely pay sales and hotel/motel taxes to state and local governments when utilizing services such as Airbnb. Failure to collect these sales and hotel/motel taxes constituted a further drain on the overall revenues of state and local governments. As a result of these revenue losses, a number of state and local governments began reviewing their options related to instituting a system to capture a portion of the revenue related to the activities of companies like Airbnb.
After much discussions and negotiations, in October 2015, Airbnb announced that it will voluntarily begin collecting taxes on behalf of hosts in Washington, who are renting out spare rooms, apartments or vacation homes to visitors. This collection would include everything from state to local retail sales tax, as well as special hotel/motel taxes and convention and trade center taxes. Since then, Airbnb has expanded its collection efforts to include nearly a half dozen states and many local governments.
Manufacturing Products Top SLC State Exports in 2014
|Image courtesy of Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation|
|Image courtesy of BMW Manufacturing News Center|
"U.S. businesses exported $2.35 trillion of our goods and services in 2014, hitting a record high for the fifth straight year. Exports support 11.3 million American jobs, and contributed one-third of our annual growth between 2009 and 2013."‐ Penny Pritzker, Secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce
Exports from the United States continue to power ahead and, in 2014, they registered a record high for the fifth consecutive year, $2.35 trillion in goods and services to be exact.¥ U.S. exports hit records in a number of categories including capital goods; consumer goods; petroleum products; foods, feeds and beverages; and automotive vehicles and parts. Importantly, reflecting the composition of the U.S. economy, services exports recorded an all-time high of $710.3 billion in 2014, led by travel and transport; charges for the use of intellectual property; and financial services. As noted by Secretary Pritzker, the critical role played by the export sector in generating millions of jobs for Americans cannot be overemphasized, along with the role played by the export sector in promoting economic growth across the country.
Has there been a change in the percentage breakdown of the major tax categories in the SLC states between 2004 and 2014?
|GSU - General Sales and Use||II - Individual Income||T - Tobacco|
|MF - Motor Fuel||CI - Corporate Income||S - Severance|
|MVOL - Motor Vehicle Operator and License||AB - Alcoholic Beverage||O - Other|
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|State||GSU 2004||GSU 2014||MF 2004||MF 2014||MVOL 2004||MVOL 2014||II 2004||II 2014||CI 2004||CI 2014||AB 2004||AB 2014||T 2004||T 2014||S 2004||S 2014||O 2004||O 2014|
U.S. Goods and Services Exports Soar to Unprecedented Heights in 2013; SLC States Shine
The U.S. Department of Commerce recently released goods and services export data for 2013 revealing very impressive trends: U.S. exports of goods and services soared to an unprecedented $2.3 trillion, an expansion of 2.8 percent compared to levels reached in 2012. Not only did the United States achieve striking gains on the export front, the nation’s imports declined by 0.1 percent in 2013 to $2.7 trillion, the first time imports had fallen since 2009 and the second consecutive annual drop in imports since 2001. The simultaneous growth in exports and contraction in imports facilitated an improvement in the nation’s trade deficit, a decline of 11.8 percent in 2013 when compared to the previous year. (The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services in 2013 amounted to $471.5 billion, an improvement from the $534.7 billion deficit in 2012). Notably, total exports as a share of U.S. GDP in 2013 held steady from the record 13.5 percent notched in 2011, an enhancement from the 12.5 percent clinched in 2008.
Focusing more specifically on U.S. goods exports in 2013 facilitates several prominent developments:
How have aerospace industry exports grown in SLC member states in the last decade?
In the coming weeks, the Southern Legislative Conference will publish a report examining the increasing number of aeronautics companies that are locating, relocating or expanding their manufacturing operations in the South, a trend particularly discernible in the aftermath of the Great Recession. For policymakers in the South, the potential to capture a portion of the burgeoning aeronautics/aerospace sector is a huge opportunity given the enormous economic opportunities at stake. Consequently, Southern policymakers have moved with great alacrity to ensure that their particular state remains a frontrunner in securing the commitment of these aeronautics companies looking to relocate. The question of the month for January 2014 presents preliminary data from the forthcoming SLC Regional Resource, Aeronautics in the SLC States: Cleared for Take Off.
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|State||2002||2007||Percent change, 2002-07||2012||Percent change, 2007-12||Percent change, 2002-12||YTD (Sep.) 2012||YTD (Sep.) 2013||Percent change, YTD 2012-13|
Exports Continue to Surge in 2012, SLC State Exports Continue to Secure Impressive Growth Rates
The U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration released its 2012 export tally and a quick review of the data indicates that the states belonging to the Southern Office of The Council of State Governments, the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC), continues to expand at impressive rates. Specifically, in 2012, U.S. goods exports* reached an all-time high of $1.54 trillion, an improvement of 4 percent over the $1.48 trillion secured in 2011. Texas was the nation's top goods exporter in 2012 and shipped out a staggering $265 billion to all corners of the globe. The Lone Star state's 2012 export tally clearly surpassed the next highest state (California with $162 billion in exports) and cemented its reputation as the nation's top exporter in each of the last five years. Another SLC state, Arkansas, was the state with the second-highest rate of goods export growth in the nation in 2012, 36 percent, an expansion rate only exceeded by New Mexico (42 percent). Arkansas' $7.6 billion in goods exports in 2012 was striking compared to the state's $5.6 billion achieved in the prior year. A review of state goods export data over the 2008-2012, five-year period established yet another SLC state (West Virginia) as the national leader. Not only did the Mountain State secure a stunning 101 percent increase in goods exports between 2008 and 2012 ($5.6 billion to $11.4 billion), West Virginia also increased its exports by 26 percent between 2011 and 2012, the fourth highest rate in the country. West Virginia was the only state that secured a triple-digit export increase between 2008 and 2012, a further reflection of the state's strong commitment to export promotion.
Exports Soar in 2011 to Record Heights, West Virginia Leads the Nation
West Virginia's exports soared to unprecedented levels in 2011, from $6.5 billion in 2010, to an astounding $9 billion in 2011, a 40 percent increase, the highest expansion rate among all the states. In responding to this notable achievement, West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin stated that "exports contribute greatly to West Virginia's growing and increasingly diverse economy. I commend the exporters of West Virginia for this incredible accomplishment." West Virginia Commerce Department Secretary Keith Burdette commented that "expanding export opportunities for West Virginia companies and products is a priority for this administration." West Virginia was not alone in recording impressive export growth rates and 49 of the 50 states saw a net increase in their exports in 2011; 36 of the states, including West Virginia, recorded double digit growth rates with 13 states expanding by single-digit rates and a mere one state seeing shrinking exports during the year.
The latest international trade statistics were released recently by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the data reveals the solid performance of the nation's exports in both resuscitating and sustaining the economic growth path of the United States. Specifically, U.S. exports in 2011 expanded to $1.5 trillion, an increase of 16 percent over the $1.3 trillion reached in 2010. During the height of the Great Recession, U.S. exports languished at $1 trillion in 2009 after reaching $1.1 trillion in 2007 and $1.3 trillion in 2008. The role of exports in advancing U.S. growth is reinforced by the fact that in 2011 they comprised a record 13.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), an increase from the 12.7 percent secured in 2010 and the prior record level of 12.9 percent achieved in 2008. Not only did exports contribute to a greater share of GDP than gross private domestic investment in 2011, exports also contributed 0.9 percentage points to the 1.7 percent increase in real GDP last year. Hence, the achievements in 2011 offer promise for sturdy economic growth opportunities across the country.
Deadline to Secure New Federal Funding Promoting Small Businesses Imminent
Southern Legislative Conference of The Council of State Governments
The federal Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 is designed to generate critical resources to help small businesses drive economic recovery and create jobs. An important component of this new legislation involves the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), a formula grant program structured to assist local entrepreneurs and small business owners secure the necessary credit to expand their businesses, create jobs and generate revenue. Specifically, the SSBCI provides $1.5 billion in federal funding to states to initiate programs that expand credit opportunities for small businesses. State commitment to involve the private sector in implementing these programs remains a critical element of the SSBCI, and states are required to demonstrate and help facilitate $10 in new private lending for every $1 in federal funding. In total, it is anticipated that the $1.5 billion federal commitment will lead to a minimum of $15 billion in additional private sector lending to spur small businesses.
Given the urgency relating to releasing credit to worthy small business operations to drive economic growth, there are a number of tight deadlines associated with states accessing the SSBCI funds. These deadlines include the following:
Of note, if a state fails to file a Notice of Intent (by November 26, 2010) or an Application (by June 26, 2011), municipalities in the state have until September 26, 2011, to present the necessary paperwork for accessing SSBCI funds in lieu of the state. In addition, while small businesses are the sole beneficiaries of these SSBCI funds, states may contract with not-for profit and for-profit organizations to actually implement the programs.
What are the SLC states' regulations regarding the shipment of wine?
Since the repeal of Prohibition each state has created its own system of alcohol regulations. These various systems have been influenced by local business interests and regional political attitudes. As a result, the laws governing direct shipment vary widely - ranging from quite open and simple to states that consider wine shipments a felony. The first of two questions for January 2009, drawing from resources published by the Californian Wine Institute, relates to the regulations for wine shipping in the SLC region.
|State||Shipping Requirements||Legal Amount|| |
Federal On-Site Shipment *
|Florida||Allowed - No Permit Required||Unlimited|| |
|Georgia On-Site||Allowed - No Permit Required||5 cases per household per year|| |
|Georgia Off-Site||Allowed - Fee $50.00||12 cases per household per year|| |
|Kentucky||Permit required; only wineries producing 50,000 gallons or less eligible||2 cases per customer per visit|| |
|Louisiana||Allowed - Permit Required - Fee $150.00||4 cases per household per year|| |