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.