U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette. (American Press Archives)
Last Modified: Thursday, September 05, 2013 10:33 PM
U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, on Thursday touted the “tremendous benefits” of international trade and Southwest Louisiana’s ability to capitalize on those efforts.
Boustany spoke to more than 100 area business leaders and elected officials at the newly opened Southwest Louisiana Entrepreneurial and Economic Development Center.
“Trade is really important in the long run,” Boustany said. “The more we have integrated commerce, the better off we’re going to be under rules.”
Improved exports is the primary reason the United States has not fallen back into a recession, “and we’re seeing that benefit right here in Lake Charles with the port,” he said.
Boustany said 95 percent of worldwide consumers live outside of the United States. “If we’re going to continue to grow the economy, we have to expand exports,” he said.
As a maritime nation, Boustany said, the U.S. can benefit from its surrounding waters. “Louisiana is a maritime state, and as we embark on expanding trade, Louisiana is in the best position of all states to benefit,” he said.
He brought up the deep-water access and federal dredging monies going toward cultivating the ports, as well as the Mississippi River.
“What other community in the country can boast a deep-water port, a world-class air facility, a vibrant business community, refineries, agricultural and manufacturing? Not many,” he said. “And that puts us in a tremendous position to grow.”
He said Louisiana — led by Southwest Louisiana — is poised to lead the country in economic prosperity.