As they say, sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. Sure, one of my top priorities upon being hired as WCIT president was the pending free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. But, I figured that I'd need at least a week to get going before I could even begin to focus on those...and today is day 6. However, sometimes you're in the right place at the right time; yesterday brought the news that the Senate Finance Committee has scheduled a mock markup for them tomorrow, June 30. In addition, the House Ways and Means Committee is considering scheduling its mock markup of the draft implementing bills for the three pending free trade agreements for next Thursday, July 7.

Those of you who used to read my old blog, Prosperity Blog, know that one of my favorite things to do is to link to news articles that reinforce a point that I've been blogging about. That way, I look prescient and/or self-obsessed in your eyes, and at least one of those is probably true. Plus, it's a great way to generate easy blog content for when you don't have time to come up with new original thoughts. And so, dear readers, I introduce to you the first of what will likely be many editions of a new State of Trade blog feature, the "Washington Trade Policy News Round-Up." All kidding aside, there have been a notable number of articles in the last 24 hours alone that hit on some of the key messages that WCIT is starting to promote about international trade policy and its relevance to Washington state's economy.

If the last post was entitled "To Paraphrase Mark Twain," then this one should probably make a reference to Frankenstein, George Romero or Lazarus...some clever play on rising from the dead. But that's exactly what WCIT has done over the course of a long weekend. On Friday, we were considered closed: "a Seattle trade-lobbying organization that once employed several people but shut its office after funding from a combination of sources waned." And now, Monday afternoon, we're officially revived! To quote myself being quoted:

Rumors of WCIT's demise are greatly exaggerated. That is, you might have noticed the article in the Puget Sound Business Journal about shrinking funding for international trade activities in Washington state. And I quote:
The region’s trade-related nonprofits also have been under fire, with several running under reduced budgets, or in the case of the Washington Council on International Trade, a Seattle trade-lobbying organization that once employed several people but shut its office after funding from a combination of sources waned. (emphasis added)

Well, it's my first week on the job, and - in between signing HR benefit forms and getting my computer/phone/cell situation in order - it's high time that I give y'all another blog post. I mean, you didn't “like” WCIT on Facebook, join WCIT’s LinkedIn group and follow WCIT on Twiiter (@WashingtonTrade) just to make yourself look cool (although it certainly helps) did those social media things so you could get the latest and greatest, hot off the presses from the Washington Council on International Trade. And I'm not going to give you any old post. I'm a man of my word and, in the last post, I said that this post would be entitled "What’s International Trade Got to Do with Washington state?" And so it will be. I mean, if you now know from the last post "What's an International Trade Issue" then it's only fair that you should understand why you should care in the first place. And believe me, Washington state resident, you should care very, very much.

Over the next few weeks, State of Trade - the new Washington Council on International Trade blog - is going to start with the basics. Don't you worry, we'll get to the hard hitting issues of the day (like the South Korea, Panama and Colombia free trade agreements), but since you and I are still in the get-to-know-you stage, I thought I'd take it a little slow. So, you'll see blog posts like "Who Cares About International Trade?" and "What's International Trade Got to Do with Washington state?" It's like how my freshman year college theater professor's first lecture was entitled "What is Art?" You've got to make sure that everyone's on the same page before you get into the details. And today is the first one of those, answering the important question "What's an International Trade Issue?"