There is a basic tenet of economic development often gets overlooked in the dearth of economic data and economic punditry: Companies need to sell their services and goods, and they need a competitive, reliable marketplace in which to do it.
The U.S. comes in at No. 5 in the World Economic Forum’s annual competitiveness ranking. I would suggest that North America is the greatest market in the world for companies to start, scale and sustain themselves over the long-term.
The combined GDP of North American countries is over $20 TRILLION. The United States is clearly the alpha dog – accounting for 80 percent of the combined GDP. Mexico, Canada and a number of smaller markets contribute the other 20 percent. Some believe Mexico’s market reforms could substantially increase their economic power. Given that so many global companies look at North America as one market, Mexico’s growth would create an even more powerful continent. We have shared economic interests with our North American neighbors – for example, Ohio exports more than 50 percent of its goods and services to Canada and Mexico.
We don’t often use the term “North America” in the U.S., but the rest of the world increasingly sees this continent as one diverse marketplace and source of natural and human resources. The growth of the trade corridor from Canada to Mexico has exploded since NAFTA was signed in the ’90s, and it continues to expand and evolve as a market. Canada and Mexico both have aggressive trade policies with various parts of the world that the U.S. does not. Workplaces are diverse and range from Silicon Valley to the oil sands of northern Alberta, from Wall Street to the maquiladoras and “co-production” manufacturing facilities in Mexico.
What does this mean to the U.S.? It means that we have a tremendous advantage when competing with markets around the world. It also means our neighbors require that we continue to compete and evolve. There is a gravitational pull created by growing companies, and there are capitalists who want to grow and protect their fortunes. I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world!
One Columbus Update
- Last week, the Democratic National Committee was in town to evaluate Columbus as a potential location for the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Congratulations and kudos to Experience Columbus, the Columbus Partnership and others who did an outstanding job of hosting the group and showcasing Columbus. You can see pictures from the visit and follow the latest news on the Columbus 2016 Facebook page.
- This October, Columbus CEO magazine will publish a special supplement in partnership with One Columbus. The advertising deadline has been extended – this week is your last chance to reserve ad space.
- This week, the One Columbus team will attend Walmart’s 2014 U.S. Manufacturing Summit in Denver.
- Back at home, our team will host companies evaluating the Columbus Region.