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6 Unexpected Jobs that Need Trade

At WCIT, we’ve been fighting for high-standard trade since the 70s, and we often talk about Washington’s farmers, manufacturers, tech innovators, port workers, and retailers that rely on trade.  But these workers are not the only ones that need strong policy to succeed in this competitive 21st century economy. Trade affects us all, and it’s something worth protecting. To illustrate that point, we’re presenting six seldom-discussed Washington jobs that need trade, too.

1) Hotel Receptionists: To remain successful, it’s important that Washington hotels operate at their full capacity. In an international hub like Seattle, this often means welcoming foreign business clients and tourists. International tourism is our state’s second largest services export (after software), generating around $4 billion annually (read our factsheet to learn more). Strong trade partnerships play a huge role in fostering the international relationships that support our local hospitality industry and its employees.

 

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2) Accountants: Did you know that over 12,000 Washington businesses export goods and services? The quality of American-made goods makes them highly sought after abroad. This demand requires an army of skilled accountants to help navigate foreign tax laws and compliance – one of the most complicated aspects of doing business overseas. Trade creates highly skilled jobs necessary to support it.

3) Car Salespeople: The top 10 best-selling cars in Washington state include the Toyota Carolla, Subaru Forester, and Honda Civic. That means that our trusted salespeople depend upon the import of safe, affordable cars. Even our favorite American-produced vehicles are made of parts manufactured all over the world, making trade an important factor in the livelihood of car salespeople all over Washington.

4) Baristas: Baristas rely on coffee and tea to do their jobs. That means our favorite morning warriors depend on reliable and affordable access to these popular imports. The U.S. (and the continental U.S. in particular) is not a major producer of coffee products, so it has no alternative other than to import. What’s more, local coffeemakers roast in the U.S. and export to countries around the world – they need lowered export tariffs to thrive and compete globally.

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5) Delivery people: With the holidays right around the corner, the importance of hard-working local delivery people is even more obvious than usual. E-commerce and increased global relationships make it super convenient to purchase your favorite gifts and goods from home – and those purchases create jobs. UPS calculated that for every 22 packages that cross a boarder, one new job is created. A strong logistical network not only bolsters our quality of life, but spurs local job growth!

6) Actors: Bet you didn’t think that Leonardo DiCaprio’s career depends upon trade – but it does! Here in Washington, we love our creative industries; it’s no Los Angeles, but Seattle is a great home to actors, directors, and producers. Their work is pirated and sold for someone else’s profit in international markets – it’s estimated that the U.S. loses up to $250 billion to piracy each year. Free trade agreements can include intellectual property protections that safeguard the work of our local creative community.

 

 

November 8 is Coming: Assessing Candidate Trade Agendas with PIIE

This presidential election, trade is one hot topic. If you’ve eyed a newspaper or logged into a news app, chances are you’ve been inundated with negative (and incorrect) rhetoric about free trade agreements of past and present. As Clinton and Trump wrapped up scheduled debates last week, the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) measured whether they can walk the walk.

Specifically, PIIE assessed the impact of Clinton and Trump’s trade proposals. In a trade-dependent state like Washington, it’s essential that we pay these data special attention: 40% of local jobs hinge upon strong, reliable trade with other nations. Unfortunately for us, this nonpartisan think tank suggests a dreary outcome: “the proposed trade policies of both Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump…would deeply harm the American economy.”

Trump on Trade

Let’s start by imaging a 2017 where the United States elects a President Trump. In recent months, Trump hasn’t been shy about criticizing trade liberalization: he expresses interest in terminating the existing trade agreements the U.S. has with 20 countries and, at times, has threatened to leave the World Trade Organization (WTO). PIIE laments that “assessing the prospective trade policy of Donald Trump is difficult, because, unlike his carefully scripted opponent, he has often communicated his positions extemporaneously, with none of the usual policy paper backup produced by traditional presidential candidates.”

Under Trump’s proposed trade agenda, Washington would be the worst hit state in the nation losing 5% of private sector employment. Densely-populated King would suffer the most out of any county in the state – and more than almost any other county in the entire U.S.!

Beyond local issues, PIIE predicts a “profound” recession under a President Trump, including decreases in employment, local production, exports, and imports. That means farmers, manufacturers, and retailers alike would take a hit if Trump’s dramatic trade plan were implemented.

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Clinton on Trade

Clinton’s milder trade plan focuses on preventing abuses of the United States’ trading partners and reforming tax codes to discourage job offshoring. But she, like Trump, is currently critical of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  Even if she were to embrace it (as she once did as Secretary of State), Washington would have already lost $8 billion in the year it wasn’t ratified.

What Can You Do?

In a place like Washington – home to world-class ports, extensive agriculture, and aerospace hubs – it’s hard to witness such federal resistance to trade. With the TPP under fire, the most important step Washingtonians can take this fall is to contact their members of Congress to express their support.

A study we released with the Association of Washington Businesses (AWB) shows how important the TPP really is for Washington State: if the TPP were fully enacted in 2015, Washington’s exports could have been up to $8.7 billion higher and created as many as 26,400 direct jobs (and as many as 47,000 indirect jobs). The study also identifies specific Washington industries that would benefit the most: agriculture, which would see tariffs as high as 208 percent eliminated; software, which would see improved cross-border data flows and IP protection; and aerospace, which would see an increased demand as TPP countries’ economies grow.

The time is now to stand for the TPP. We’ve made it easy to write to your local representatives with our 30-second online advocacy tool: we’ve pre-written your letter of support so you don’t have to. Find it here!

Rapid Response: WCIT Responds to Dean Baker Remarks against TPP

In his recent Huffington Post piece, economist Dean Baker presents several arguments against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). A recent data-driven analysis conducted by WCIT and the Association of Washington Business shatters these claims by calculating this agreement’s benefits for trade-dependent Washington state.

Baker argues that “the classic story of gaining from free trade by removing trade barriers doesn’t really apply to the TPP primarily because we have already removed most of the barriers between the countries in the pact.” This is not true: in reality, trade barriers with important Pacific Rim nations are debilitating to U.S. businesses. Export tariffs alone make Made-in-America products less competitive in foreign markets – and they run as high as 31% for wheat, 30% for salmon, 208% for whey powder, and 10% for French fries. By removing 18,000 existing tariffs, including every tariff on U.S. manufactured goods, the TPP would even the playing field.

Beyond tariffs, Baker ignores a long list of other barriers the TPP tackles that currently limit U.S. exporters’ success:

  • Foreign state-owned enterprises that receive unfair advantages
  • Discriminatory regulations that bar U.S. exports from Pacific Rim nations
  • Requirements to localize servers in foreign countries that impede cross-border data flows, as well as prohibitions to a free and open internet
  • Weak intellectual property rights
  • Unpredictable rules and customs procedures that are confusing and expensive for small businesses to navigate

Baker goes on to claim that “trade barriers are already low…pushing them to zero will not have much economic impact.” On the contrary, our study shows huge local gains for Washington. If the TPP were fully enacted in 2015, Washington state’s exports could have been up to $8.7 billion higher and as many as 26,400 direct jobs would have been created (as well as 47,000 indirect jobs). These are tangible areas of growth that benefit businesses, employees, and residents alike.

Finally, Baker argues that there won’t be many gains under the TPP, even with the five TPP countries with which we don’t currently have trade agreements. However, our study shows that Washington exports with these nations would increase by 18.7%, and that Washington exports to Japan alone could grow as much as $3.6 billion. This data presents large gains under the TPP that are hard to ignore.

For more information about TPP’s benefits to Washington and our nation, visit wcit.org/tpp and download the full study, Wins for Washington: Economic Impacts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Washington State here.

Wins for Washington: A Fireside Chat with Secretary Jewell About TPP

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“With the TPP’s environmental and labor protections, we have the opportunity to lift the world up.” – Secretary Jewell

When we invited U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, to speak at our annual summer luncheon, we knew we were in for a treat. What we didn’t expect was to leave so inspired about the potential of high-standard trade policies like the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Secretary Jewell is a member of President Obama’s cabinet, former CEO of REI, UW alumna, and avid Northwest camper. On Monday, she spoke to 200 Washington business leaders about how TPP lifts the world up.

“We can have both conservation and development. The two are not in conflict.” – Secretary Jewell

Secretary Jewell made a striking argument that development and environmentalism can be achieved together. TPP promises to increase Washington jobs, boost global competitiveness, and strengthen international ties, all while promoting clean water, renewable energy, and endangered species protections. In 2016, we have the rare and valuable opportunity to ratify a policy that promotes Washington growth while also including high-stakes, enforceable environmental provisions.

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“At this point, you can’t stop global trade – what we have to do is figure out how to use it for good.” – Secretary Jewell

We are living in an exciting, global age. Secretary Jewell discussed that international trade is blamed for the growing pains of globalization, when it’s in fact the solution to these hardships. Trade is unavoidable, and we must turn to high-standard agreements to ensure our competitiveness and growth. TPP is an opportunity to improve our entire state by creating family-wage jobs and breaking down barriers that hinder the growth of local businesses.

 “Why do I care about global trade? Because the world is truly interconnected. Pollutants and overfishing across the Pacific affect us here.” – Secretary Jewell

As a Seattleite, Secretary Jewell understands why the TPP is uniquely important to Washington: this region is perfectly posed for global connections through Pacific trade. Our state is home to vibrant businesses big and small that create skilled jobs in retail, agriculture, technology, aerospace, and other sectors. What’s more, Washington houses unique natural resources that deserve protections under the TPP.

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“We will be better off environmentally and will give people jobs at home through the TPP.” – Secretary Jewell

Secretary Jewell’s inspiring words came at the perfect time. TPP must be ratified by Congress in 2016 to ensure the implementation of its pioneering standards. Learn more about how TPP uniquely benefits Washington by reading our new study, Wins for Washington: Economic Impacts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Washington State. We’ve made it easy to contact your members of Congress about the importance of the TPP: it only takes 30 seconds to fill out our online advocacy tool!

New Study! 6 Ways TPP Benefits Washington State

Washington state is more than its picturesque coastlines and rolling hills and incredible summers. Our state is also a booming economic center! Its prime location, world-class ports, and flourishing businesses make it a wonderful place to live and do business. And with 40% of all jobs connected to trade, this region stands to benefit from strong trade policy.

The world is a-buzz(feed) with chatter about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Those invested in the US’ economic competitiveness are excited about this trade agreement’s benefits. If you fit into that category, I’m here to deliver even more good news: we’ve calculated its effects in Washington state! Here’s what we found: 6 reasons why TPP benefits Washington.

1. TPP works for Washington exports and local business

Our study shows that TPP could directly add up to 26,000 jobs across the state in multiple sectors of Washington’s diverse economy. And what’s more, it paves the way for more skilled and family-wage positions. By eliminating over 18,000 export tariffs, local Washington businesses will be able to compete on an international level under TPP. Our study finds that, had TPP been adopted in 2015, Washington exports would have been between $2 billion and $8.7 billion higher with TPP countries. That’s up to 9% more than actual totals!

 

2. TPP supports local potato growers and processors

I’ve come to terms with the fact I cannot go more than a week without eating French fries. Luckily for me, potatoes are Washington’s fourth largest crop produced, touting a market value of $7.9 billion in 2013. And as it turns out, I’m not the only one gobbling down twice-baked spuds – 60% of our state’s potatoes are exported to other countries. Local farmers and processors alike serve to benefit from the elimination of tariffs that artificially inflate potato prices as high as 20% in Asian markets.

 

3. TPP will make the Pacific Rim a little sweeter

Is there anything better than Washington fruit? Apples, cherries, and berries: our state has it all. TPP would break down trade barriers that make our fruit less competitive in foreign markets. For example, TPP would eliminate Japan’s 17% tariff on apples along with the 8.5% tariff on cherries. Reaching these markets is hugely important for local farmers that depend upon trade to thrive and expand.

 

4. Bee-boop: TPP boosts tech and services trade

If you’ve ventured to the east shores of Lake Washington, you understand how important software and technology are to Washington’s economy. Trade is more than just an exchange of goods – these services have become increasingly important. In 2015, Washington exported $2.1 billion in software to TPP member countries. TPP benefits software trade by expanding cross-border data flows, supporting intellectual property rights, prohibiting forced source code disclosure, and adopting consumer protection laws against fraud.

 

5: The sky’s the limit: TPP bolsters Washington aerospace

Aerospace…it’s a big deal in Washington, whether we’re talking about airline giants or small parts producers. Aerospace represents our state’s largest category of exports, with more than $51.6 billion in overseas sales in 2015. Even though this sort of export doesn’t face tariffs when heading to TPP member countries, this booming industry serves to benefit from increased demand under this agreement. This is good news for thousands of skilled workers supported by this growing industry.

 

6: But you’ve gotta have friends…TPP strengthens connections around the world

Last but not least, TPP would serve as a strong bond between Washington and 11 flourishing Pacific Rim nations. Our neighbors promise big opportunities for our future, and we can offer them the same. TPP is Washington’s pathway to global collaboration.

Guest Post from US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker: “Creating Washington State Jobs Through Trade”

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As Secretary of Commerce, my job is to work to create the conditions for American businesses and workers to keep their competitive edge in the 21st century economy.

American businesses face a world that is more competitive than ever. With modern technology and communications and with greater ease of transportation, national boundaries no longer define the marketplace or limit the reach of workers, consumers, or businesses.

In this global economy, American prosperity is directly tied to our ability to access new markets and reach customers beyond our borders. To ensure that more U.S. firms can sell to the 95 percent of consumers who live overseas, the Obama Administration is committed to expanding access to some of the fastest-growing markets in the world through trade agreements. The newly-signed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is critical to growing the American economy and supporting good paying jobs at home.

The TPP will enable U.S. businesses to compete on a level playing field by eliminating more than 18,000 tariffs on ‘Made-in-America’ products sold overseas, while defining the highest standards on labor, the environment, and the digital economy ever to be included in a trade agreement. With this transformational trade agreement, we can expand U.S. exports, support even more high-paying American jobs, and strengthen the hand of American workers in the global economy.

Currently, our American companies, both big and small, face barriers to access in foreign markets that impede our economic growth. The TPP eliminates “red tape” by creating efficient and transparent customs procedures that help move goods quickly through borders. The TPP also supports paperless trading, and the use of e-customs forms, as well as the use of electronic authentication and signatures.

The TPP will set the standards for the 21st century economy by promoting digital trade and e-commerce. The agreement prohibits the tariffs on digital products, such as software and e-books. Additionally, the TPP protects against requirements that force businesses to locate physical infrastructure in the markets in which they seek to operate. All of these aspects enhance the ability of small businesses to access global markets through the ever-growing digital platform.

TPP markets are already important to Washington businesses, with nearly 30 percent of Washington’s goods exports going to TPP partners in 2014. Total Washington goods exports to TPP markets nearly reached $27.0 billion last year, including $7.4 billion to Japan, $999 million to Malaysia, and $508 million to Vietnam.

Once implemented, TPP will strengthen the hand of Washington companies by lowering the costs of doing business in these markets and ensuring fair treatment for Washington businesses. TPP will eliminate foreign import taxes on all industrial and consumer goods, including Washington’s top exports to new TPP markets: Transportation Equipment, Forest Products, and Machinery.

As America’s business leaders, you have an important role to play in strengthening our commercial ties globally, and improving the business climate both at home and abroad. As a CEO at heart, I ask you to make the case for TPP in your communities, in your states, and nationwide.

The future of our country depends on our willingness to work together to make key investments in trade and exports.

Penny Pritzker
U.S. Secretary of Commerce

What’s in the TTIP – Pizza, Pasta and More Export to Europe!

Hi fellow trade nerds, my name is Lara Giannelli and I am the new intern at WCIT! And yes – you guessed it, I am Italian!  While I know everyone is talking about the TPP, today I’m reporting on the other big trade agreement being negotiated between the U.S. and the EU that often gets left out of the conversation – the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership). Being Italian-American, this is the trade deal that’s really near and dear to my heart. The TTIP has numerous benefits for the U.S. and Washington state – not to mention the benefits of more streamlined trade with Italy: bring on the pizza, pasta and Italian shoes!

This week, the TTIP is going through its 12th round of negotiations in Brussels. Negotiators from the EU and the US are hoping to make progress on some tough issues, from investor protections and how to model an investor state dispute settlement system (ISDS) to public procurement laws and labor and environmental rules. While taking on sensitive topics like these is difficult, finding common ground is essential if we hope for TTIP to stimulate growth in both EU and US economies through expanding market access and lowering regulatory trade barriers.

The European Union is one of Washington state’s largest trading partners, and collectively accounted for almost 10 percent of Washington’s goods exports in 2014, making this deal especially beneficial to Washington residents. The European Union population of nearly 500 million offers Washington’s farmers, retailers, and manufacturers a large and diverse consumer market, which has the potential to create more jobs here in Washington. In fact, the TTIP could create an estimated 17,000 new jobs in our state and increase our exports to the EU by 26 percent.

Earlier this month, Martin Donnelly, Permanent Secretary for the United Kingdom’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the UK Government’s trade policy and commerce department, visited Seattle to discuss the benefits of TTIP. During the discussion, Donnelly mentioned current regulatory systems in place between the U.S. and the EU which make it hard to manufacture and distribute in both the US and EU without costly regulatory processes. For example, cars must go through crash tests in both the US and EU to be sold in both markets, even though the tests are redundant. TTIP aims to streamline these rules and regulations so that one policy counts for both the US and EU.

Negotiations on the TTIP have been ongoing since 2013. Permanent Secretary Donnelly said he would like for the TTIP negotiations to be concluded quickly or momentum may be lost. With so much to gain from this agreement, I too hope that negotiations don’t fizzle as we enter election season – I’m too eager to have more abundant Italian pasta shipments and to see more Washington products being sold in Italy!

 

Raising a Toast to the EXIM Bank

What does WCIT do to celebrate the reauthorization of the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank? Eat sausages and drink craft beer of course!

This week we partied at Hilliard’s Brewery with dozens of local businesses who utilize the EXIM Bank’s programs for a very special reason: the EXIM Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg, Governor Inslee, Senators Murray and Cantwell, and Representative Heck, McDermott, Larsen and DelBene gathered to celebrate the Bank’s reauthorization with us!

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While there was much to celebrate thanks to the Bank reopening in December, Chairman Hochberg and our members of Congress reminded us of one sobering fact: the EXIM Bank cannot fully operate until they have a quorum (meaning, a required number) of Board members. The Bank currently only has two of the five Board seats filled. Until they fill at least one more, the Bank cannot make any loans over $10 million, which hampers large sales of Washington products.

While it seems that problem would be easy enough to fix, Congress must vote to accept President Obama’s nominations to the EXIM Board. Specifically, the Senate Banking Committee must approve any appointment, and leaders on that Committee have not been supportive of EXIM Bank in the past.  WCIT will do whatever we can, including writing letters to the Committee and visiting with key members during our May DC Fly-In, to convince them to vote on EXIM Board nominations.

Until the EXIM Bank is operating at full capacity, WCIT will continue spreading the message of why the Bank is so critical to our state – and nation’s – international competitiveness. Over 70 percent of Washington’s businesses that use the Bank are small businesses like Hilliard’s Beer, and they often do not have access to other export financing and insurance options that will keep them competitive. If they have access to other options, they are often too expensive to be viable. Since other countries provide robust export support to their own exporters, it’s critical U.S. businesses have access to reliable EXIM services to compete on a level playing field.

WCIT still has some work to do to help get the EXIM Bank over this last hurdle, but with export financing flowing again to many of our small businesses, we wanted to take this chance to pause and celebrate this milestone of reauthorization. So let’s raise a toast to the 161,000 jobs in Washington state supported by the EXIM Bank – may they continue to grow as our exports reach new heights! Cheers!

Let’s Celebrate TPP Signing Day!

Today, February 4, is an exciting day for those of us who care about Washington state’s global competitiveness; today is the day that officials from all twelve countries that are part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership will meet in New Zealand to officially sign the historic trade deal!

This doesn’t mean the TPP will now be ratified and implemented – Congress has to approve it and at least six of the partner countries that make up 85% of the GDP of all countries involved must ratify it for that to happen – but it does give a big push for Congress to seriously consider what would be the most effective and innovative trade deal in history.

At WCIT we’ve been silent on this State of Trade blog for a while now – and that’s primarily because we’ve been so hard at work advocating for trade policies like the TPP and Export-Import Bank that will strengthen Washington state’s international competitiveness. From Spokane to Olympia and Tri-Cities to Yakima, we’ve been out and about spreading the word about how Washington will benefit from the TPP. We’re excited to have a little time to sit down and blog again, and we think the big TPP signing day provides a great opportunity to do it!

Why are we so supportive of the TPP here at WCIT? We’ve put together many resources that help answer that question, such as our factsheet that lays out what’s in the TPP for Washington, our factsheet that dispels myths with facts, and our factsheet on Washington’s trade ties with the TPP region, but here are a few reasons we’re so excited about the TPP:

Washington state could benefit more than any state. Given our strong trade-based economy and trade ties in the Asia-Pacific region, we are strategically positioned to benefit from this deal. Half of our imports come from TPP countries and a third of our exports already go to TPP countries. If trade barriers were broken down in TPP partner countries, we can continue growing our economic engagement in this region. TPP could generate $3 billion in new investment in Washington state alone, according to an Organization for International Investment study.

TPP is good for our manufacturers, retailers, service providers, farmers and agricultural producers, and small businesses. There’s something in the TPP for everyone. First of all, it will eliminate 18,000 tariffs on U.S. products, including every single tariff on U.S. manufactured products, meaning many of our exports will immediately be more competitive. In addition, TPP streamlines rules and regulations, simplifying and lowering the cost of trade. It prevents other countries from using discriminatory regulations to prevent sales of U.S. products. Eliminating these non-tariff barriers is especially important for our small businesses. Moreover, the TPP addresses important issues for our 21st century economy like the movement of data across borders. The TPP would prevent countries from requiring companies locate servers in each country they do business, freeing up cross-border data flows.

-TPP makes our workers more competitive while improving labor conditions, human rights standards and the environment. For the first time in any trade agreement, labor and environmental standards are addressed as a core part of the TPP. All countries must meet certain standards – for instance, must comply with International Labor Organization standards – in order to be part of the trade deal. This means millions of workers in places like Vietnam and Malaysia for the first time will have minimum wages, the right to safe working conditions, and ability to unionize. Forced and child labor will be eliminated. Countries must stop illegal logging, fishing, and ocean pollution. These things are not just important for the people that will now have a higher quality of life – they are important for Washington workers, too. If standards are raised, our workers will be able to compete on a more level playing field.

There are many more reasons the TPP would be a great deal for Washington state, but this was just a teaser. I’m sure you’re now hungry to know more, so read up on our wcit.org/tpp page, and take 30 seconds to send an email to your member of Congress urging them to consider the benefits of the TPP here.

Now that the TPP is signed, WCIT will march onward with our TPP message. We hope you’ll join us in our advocacy effort over the next few months! #TPP4u&me #TPPbenefitsWA

 

Sharing Stories at the WCIT Summer Luncheon

Your trade stories matter.

If there was one take-away lesson from WCIT’s Summer Luncheon earlier this month, that was it. U.S. Representative DelBene and a panel of DC trade policy experts discussed an array of trade policy topics, from failure of Congress to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank to status of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and in each case they mentioned how important stories from real companies are in making the case for improved trade policy.

Despite the fact it was a summer day right in the middle of vacation season, a robust crowd of 150 Washington business and community leaders joined WCIT for the luncheon. There’s no telling how many trade policy junkies cancelled their summer vacations to attend what has become a staple in Washington’s trade and business community; we expect that most everyone at least planned their entire summer around our lunch! With so much going on in trade policy right now – Trade Promotion Authority just passed, the Ex-Im Bank has recently expired and is awaiting reauthorization, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations are wrapping up – it makes sense that no one wanted to miss out on the inside the beltway updates.

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The panel, which was moderated by Dorothy Dwoskin from Microsoft, included David Thomas from Business Roundtable, Jonathan Gold from the National Retail Federation and Bill Westman from the North American Meat Institute. While they had diverse perspectives from different industries, the following messages rang out clear:

  • Tell your trade stories – to your workers, to the media, to your elected officials

Although trade advocates have all the facts and stories, we have often been slow in getting our messaging out. If no one knows why trade matters to real workers and real communities, they cannot advocate for the right policies.

  • Be persistent

Trade Promotion Authority went through numerous twists and turns before it was reauthorized, but by keeping up the drum beat with consistent, targeted messaging, the majority of Congress finally understood why it is so important for enhancing our global competitiveness. It is likely we will see persistence pay off in the reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank soon as well.

  • TPP has the potential to be huge!

Every industry represented on the panel – agriculture, retail and tech – has the potential to benefit from a successful TPP. For agriculture, it could erase huge tariff disadvantages, putting our products on a more level playing field. For retail, it could expand opportunities to open stores and sell goods in the TPP countries. For tech, it would improve standards on IP protection and cross-border data flows, as well as facilitate trade by improving transparency and rule of law. While we don’t have the actual TPP agreement yet, we can all be proactively advocating for the potential of TPP.

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We are so grateful for those of you who could join us for the luncheon, as well as for our sponsors – the Port of Vancouver (Washington), Highline College’s Supply Chain Management Program, and Boeing. The discussion reminded us at WCIT how much we have left to do to make sure we are adequately conveying our messages to the public and our elected officials on why trade policy matters so much to Washington’s economic success. We hope you will join us in these efforts – and if you haven’t shared your trade stories with us, please do – after all, your stories are the reason we do all we do here at WCIT!