Here at Auburn Leather Company, we employ 77 people, and 90 percent of those jobs are dependent on exports. As a leader in leather shoe laces for the footwear industry, we currently sell our products in countries all around the world including Canada, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, China, Cambodia, India, Philippines, Taiwan, El Salvador, and more.
Being an international leather manufacturer with over 72 percent of our sales derived from international business, there's no question that we depend on free trade agreements to grow our business. Without our ability to trade and sell products to overseas markets, the company would not have grown nor survived. We have seen the positive effects that free trade agreements can bring to a company firsthand. Auburn Leather has seen profits thanks to CAFTA-DR (Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement) and NAFTA, specifically.
Through assistance from the Export Import Bank and the U.S. Department of Commerce, we have been able to have success in the global economy, but we need to see even more growth, and we will do this by urging Washington to eliminate barriers to trade. Without the import duties on leather and leather goods that make transactions cost prohibitive, we could see even more profits in the upcoming years and expansion into new markets.