It’s critical to think globally to succeed locally. That was the message from Former United States Trade Representative and Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk, as he wrapped up The Real Estate Council’s Bank of Texas Speaker Series.
In fact, he emphasized that Texas and the United States benefit from a strong global economy as much as the rest of the world gains from our strength.
With 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside the United States, we have a huge opportunity to provide goods and services to transform their lives. That means competing on a global scale. And competition is increasingly fierce, as the rest of the world works to get in on the game. According to Kirk, the U.S. can compete in national and local ways.
Trade Agreements: These treaties are key to exposing U.S. businesses to global consumers. While 75 percent of Americans think that trade agreements harm the economy by shipping jobs overseas, the numbers show consumers actually benefit.
- For every $1 billion of goods that the US exports, 5,000 new jobs are created.
- There are 4,300 jobs created for every $1 billion of services exported.
- In 2014, Texas, the top state for exports, sent $289 million in goods to overseas markets and gained 1.1 million jobs in return.
The TransPacific Partnership, which connects the U.S. to 11 countries in Southeast Asia, and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), connecting the U.S. to Mexico and Canada, have played a role in providing the U.S. access to 1.5 billion new customers, open to buying American goods and services.
To compete on a global stage it’s essential that we compete on a local level too.
Location: Texas’ unique location gives the state a natural advantage, but we must compete on more than just location. We must compete with visionary ideas.
Urban Planning & Transportation: Twenty years ago groups like The Real Estate Council had a vision to enhance the livability of Downtown Dallas. Today 10,000 people live in the area. Twenty years ago Klyde Warren Park was an idea. Now the area above a busy highway is a popular park. We have an opportunity to add to our landscape. Twenty years from now a bullet train may connect Dallas and Houston, not only connecting two large cities, but two large economies too.
Education: Competition will require more from us and we must have a means increase our skills, especially for our children. Seventy percent of children in Dallas attend school in the Dallas Independent School District. Many of these children are the first in their families to go to school in the US. Our ability to compete on a local, national and global scale depends on our investment in the school district and these children who will be the engine for our competitiveness in the future.
The time is now to stay engaged in our schools, business, communities and governments. As members of The Real Estate Council we have a unique opportunity to focus on the areas of education, environment, housing and job creation – key components that will make Dallas, Texas and the United States competitive on a global stage. Where will you get involved?
Chad Schieber is Director of Client Services at The Beck Group, a collaborative team of designers and builders, offering planning, architecture, interior design, construction and sustainability consulting services. He leads strategic relationships and pursuits for the Dallas regional office.