The 2011 Washington Trade Conference took place on Monday, November 21, 2011. Over 275 business, government and community leaders from across Washington state joined U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell and U.S. Representatives Inslee, McDermott, Reichert, Larsen and Smith to discuss federal...


Just like a month ago - when WCIT toured Eastern WA to meet with trade-related stakeholders - WCIT is "on the road again" (as someone once sang). We'll be meeting with members of the Washington Congressional delegation, the DC offices...


My wife didn't think this blog post title made sense...since it's really about how Russia doesn't love tariffs and is willing to lower them to join the World Trade Organization. But you get the idea, plus it's a James Bond reference (my second on this blog to date), so it's a win-win. In addition, this post is another entry in your favorite - our ongoing series on WCIT's policy priorities - which means that's three reasons right there to read on. But, of course, the reason you really want to read this post is to understand why Washington state would possibly have an interest in whether or not Russia joins the WTO. And I'll give you a hint: it has nothing to do with whether or not I can see Russia from my house...

Remember back in grade school when, as soon as you came back in September, your teacher would assign you to write a paper about "what I learned on my summer vacation?" Well, I just got back from a three day trip to Eastern Washington to talk international trade, and I feel compelled to submit a similarly themed assignment (especially since the start of the school year is right around the corner!). And, like how I approached most of my school assignments, I'm going to do the least possible work. So, instead of a blow-by-blow account (which I did via Twitter along the way at #WCITinEasternWA), I'll just give you my top three lessons about Eastern WA and international trade:

WCIT staff is on a three day trek around the eastern part of Washington state to meet with members, stakeholders and other folks generally interested in trade (whether they know it or not). If you want to follow the blow...


Every so often, an industry will decide that some of its stakeholders will need to pay more than their fair share for the greater good. The Seattle Times was very familiar with that concept, until it finally got rid of its Joint Operating Agreement with the Seattle P-I. The New York Yankees know that part of their revenues are going to help the Pittsburgh Pirates sign Andrew McCutcheon to a long term deal. But I find it hard to think of any example of a "redistribution of wealth" that disadvantages a certain subset of players more than the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) hurts Washington's ports. And yet, like so many of these situations, there's not necessarily an easy solution to the problem. Let's explore in this latest installment of our blog series on WCIT's policy priorities.

No, seriously, I mean it. This isn't one of those "why is a raven like a writing desk?" questions (Alice in Wonderland reference, btw). I think this is a potentially interesting and vital question at the intersection of two major national policy debates: 1) how do we structure our nation's international trade policy to maximize our global economic competitiveness and 2) how do we structure our nation's immigration policy to...maximize our global economic competitiveness (assuming that we're talking about the rational debate on the latter, rather than just straight up resistance to immigrants per se). And not only do I think that immigration policy is intrinsically linked to our country's success in international trade, but I also think that Washington is one of the states that is most impacted by this intersection. Here's three reasons why:

Back in my days writing for the Prosperity Blog on Puget Sound economic development issues, I had a weekly featured called REDEW: the Random Economic Development Email of the Week. Whatever the most interesting economic development related email I received that week, I'd blog about it. Welcome to a similar new feature here on the State of Trade blog: TEOW - the Trade Email of the Week. Weekly (or so), I'll entertain and educate you with something unique, important and relevant to trade that pops through my inbox unexpectedly. This week's inaugural feature? "Washington State wine industry launches first-ever promotional campaign in India!"

In my first month and a half on the job as president of the Washington Council on International Trade, I've had the opportunity to talk to a lot of folks about a) trade policy and b) the role of WCIT. On the former, the answers have been broad, as this list of WCIT policy priorities can attest - from the Affordable Footwear Act to Russian WTO Accession (if only there was a policy priority that started with Z so that I could have said "from the Affordable Footwear to the Zoo Import Case" or something...too bad). But on the second question of our role, I've heard a lot of folks say that WCIT needs to be the counterpoint in the argument over "whether trade is good or bad." But I totally disagree. "Is trade good or bad" is the absolute wrong question to be asking.