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?"

Hello, international trade community! I'm pleased to introduce myself as the President of the Washington Council on International Trade, and to introduce State of Trade, the new WCIT blog. If you haven't noticed already, State of Trade is a double entendre. First, of course, this blog will update you on the state of the world of international trade, highlighting and interpreting various relevant policies and events. Second is that Washington is a "state of trade" - as one of the most trade dependent states in the country and with so many of our businesses and organizations engaged in international activities. They always say that if you have to explain the joke, it isn't funny, but at least it's clever! A little bit about WCIT for the uninitiated.