40% of All WA Jobs Tied to Trade, WCIT-TDA Intl. Competitiveness Strategy Finds

Today, the Washington Council on International Trade and the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle are pleased to release theInternational Competitiveness Strategy for Washington State.

The strategy finds that at least 40% of jobs in our state are tied to international trade, and makes a series of recommendations to ensure that Washington increasingly succeeds in the global marketplace. Highlights of the strategy include:

  • International trade is a key driver of our state’s economy. It spans across nearly every industry sector – from agriculture to aerospace to IT to tourism. Based on new research, nearly 40% of all jobs in Washington can be tied to trade-related activity, making our state one of the most trade-engaged economies in the country.
  • Services are an increasingly important part of our trade economy. While it is widely known that Washington is a leader in merchandise and commodities exports like agriculture and aerospace, we are also a growing leader in the export of services such as IT and tourism.
  • The state government has a key role to play. Much of our country’s trade policy is set at the federal level, however, state government is crucial to Washington’s international competitiveness.
  • Imports mean jobs in Washington state. Although shifting global supply chains cause economic hardship for many people in the U.S., imports also help employ many Washington residents – because of our state’s role as an Asian gateway and as the home to a wide diversity of retail and manufacturing headquarters that leverage global supply chains. 
  • Washington’s international engagement goes beyond imports and exports. Foreign direct investment provides capital for our state’s businesses and infrastructure, as well as direct employment for Washington residents. Immigrants and foreign-born residents strengthen our workforce, drive innovation and bring with them connections to our trading partners. 
  • There are steps we can collectively take to increase Washington’s international competitiveness. The strategy provides six recommendations that will have the maximum impact on increasing the ability of Washington businesses and organizations to successfully engage internationally.

Using the findings and recommendations of the International Competitiveness Strategy for Washington State, the positive impact of Washington’s international activity can be boosted even further, with broad benefits for Washington residents and increased competitiveness for Washington companies in the global economy. WCIT & TDA worked closely with business, government, educators, tourism agencies and other international interests across the state to develop the Strategy, and we look forward to working with them and all of you to implement it – ensuring our state’s future international success and growing jobs for Washington residents.

The Strategy is available for download at wcit.org/strategy.

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