Ellicott Dredges is a 135 year old manufacturer of dredging equipment. We've been in Baltimore in the same spot since 1900, and trade is what has enabled our business to grow over the last 135 years. If we didn't harness the power of exporting for our business, we wouldn't exist. As the world's leading manufacturer of portable dredging machinery, our company is unique in that we got involved with exports at an early stage. We understand the power that exporting has on a business's growth, and with over a couple hundred U.S. employees, everyone at Ellicott Dredges knows that our jobs depend on exports.
Every year, over half our sales are attributed to exporting as we sell to over a dozen countries such as Indonesia, Nigeria, Iraq, and Bangladesh, but we are always facing some challenges. We don't want to restrict imports, and we don't want to shut down trade opportunities for us to reach new markets and new customers around the world. Our message to Washington is very simple: We need to have open doors where we're selling. Don't be afraid to trade and look beyond our borders; instead, create strong trade deals so businesses like Ellicott Dredges can be more competitive.
We rely on trade, and in terms of trade agreements, NAFTA has been a huge boost for us. We sell more to Mexico now than we did before NAFTA was implemented, and thanks to NAFTA, we are now more competitive in both countries, but we need more agreements. We need global opportunities to grow and prosper - the world is our market, and we depend on exports to succeed.