Improving global trade is a high priority for Washington state. After the U.S.-South Korea free trade agreement was approved and tariff barriers eased, exports of Washington state cherries to that nation grew 80 percent and potatoes 30 percent. That’s according to the Washington Council for International Trade (WCIT).
Their recently-produced short video accents that global trade is like water or electricity. You may not notice it when it’s there, but if it were to go away, the impact would be pronounced. We’d have no smart phones or coffee. We’d lose about half the jobs in Washington state.
Washington exports $115 billion worth of goods and services annually, twice as much as the average U.S. state. But new markets and harmonized global trade rules would expand trade’s economic benefits to the state.
Tony Wisdom is the owner and Vice-President of Strategy and Marketing for Wisdom Hill Farms in Burlington, Washington. He tells WCIT, “We would love to grow our business in Asia and there are lots of strategic relationships that are, I think, there waiting.”
Lens recently reported on Washington’s deep investment in global trade and the related needs for ongoing tariff restructuring and timely regional port infrastructure improvements.
About the latter, the former maritime administrator for President Obama, David Matsuda, now working with Keep Washington Competitive, has said that he’s heard concern from the state’s maritime industry about state permit rules. Lens reported:
“..an expanded State Environmental Policy Act requires examination of infrastructure projects’ impact on global environmental concerns instead of just local ones.
Matsuda said Canada had a ‘shot-clock approach’ with a set time limit for examining environmental impact. Otherwise, he said, delays and uncertainty could repel investors.
‘The money will go elsewhere…Jobs will go elsewhere, entire supply chains can go elsewhere,’ Matsuda said.”