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.
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.
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.