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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Obama to announce initiatives to spur small business trade with Americas on Friday stop in Tampa



President Barack Obama plans to announce new initiatives Friday to promote small business trade with Latin America when he visits the Port of Tampa. It's an event the White House is billing as official business but it will undoubtedly have the feel of a second campaign stop in Florida within days.

The president was in South Florida today both for campaign events and to promote the so-called "Buffett Rule," a proposal to require the rich to pay at least 30 percent in income taxes.

Administration officials say the president on Friday will announce efforts to help small businesses trade with Central and South American nations through programs that, for instance, would offer loan guarantees to owners, training and networking with potential buyers. He will also tour the port, where 40 percent of exports are headed to parts of Latin America. Obama will be stopping in Tampa on his way to the Summit of the Americas in Colombia, and Florida is a natural jumping off point, one official said.

"From my standpoint on National Security Council, any observer of the relationship between the United States and the Americas knows that Florida really is in many respects the connective tissue that links the U.S . economy to the Latin American economy," said deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes. "If you’re looking for a venue to highlight the ties… Florida is the obvious choice.”


[Last modified: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 8:31pm]


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