SEATTLE – Lori Otto Punke, President of the Washington Council on International Trade, released the following statement following the President’s 13-day visit to Korea, Japan, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
“The President’s trip to Asia highlighted both opportunities and challenges for Washington state’s trade community. Washington is the most trade dependent state in the country, with nearly 40 percent of jobs tied to international trade. For example, China is Washington state’s largest trade partner, with $16.5B in Washington goods and $1B in Washington services exported to China in 2016. The Asia Pacific region is one of our most important trading partners for agriculture, aerospace, technology and beyond.”
At the same time, significant challenges remain that the Administration must tackle head-on. Numerous barriers prevent Washington state industries from having a level playing field in China, including discriminatory and unpredictable regulations that appear to be put in place to restrict sale of U.S. products and services. The lack of meaningful pricing transparency in Japan hamstrings life sciences innovations. Restrictions on Washington apple exports to Korea unfairly close out our farmers to that market. And, eleven of our trading partners last week signed the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) – unfortunately without us – leaving the US on the outside looking in, with fewer tools to address challenges going forward.
Now, more than ever, it is critical that Washington businesses and workers are advocating for smart trade policy. WCIT looks forward to driving that critical conversation forward.”
Read more about Washington trade policy on our factsheets.