Opportunity Knows No Borders

  • Sep 25, 2015

By Chad Schieber, Director of Client Services

This post is the first in an ongoing series inspired by insights from thought leaders in the communities where we work.  From time to time we’ll share creative approaches, ideas and insights from local, national and global leaders who inspire us to think about how we build better communities, cities and a better world.

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 Bank of Texas Speaker Series recently at The Real Estate Council in Dallas.

In fact, he emphasized that the United States benefits 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.

National Competition

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.

Local Competition

To compete on a global stage it’s essential that we compete on a local level too.

Location: States like Texas have a unique location advantage, but we must compete on more than just location. We must compete with visionary ideas.

Urban Planning & Transportation: Twenty years ago Downtown Dallas, for example, was home to very few residents. Today 10,000 people live in the area. Twenty years ago a deck park over a busy highway was an idea. Now the area is known as Klyde Warren 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 to 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.  The ability to compete on a local, national and global scale depends on our investment in school districts like this 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 to remain competitive on a global stage. How will you get involved?