What’s WCIT Going to Talk About In 2013?

Those of you who are loyal readers of the State of Trade blog often wonder what topics you’ll see in this space. Will we be discussing port competitiveness? (Yes!) What about a potential EU-U.S. trade and investment partnership? (You know it!)

2013 is going to be a busy year of communicating on topics like those (because what else would I do all day as WCIT Policy & Communications Director?). But rather than leave you guessing, I want to make sure you know what to expect in terms of policy focus areas. That’s why I’m excited that today WCIT unveiled our 2013 policy priorities!

Each year we work with our members – Washington employers across a variety of industries who support strong trade policy that benefits Washington’s economy – to identify the top state and federal policy issues that impact our state’s international competitiveness.

We have chosen to focus our efforts on ten policy issues that we believe make the most difference in Washington employers’ ability to grow the economy through international trade. These issues include trade liberalization efforts, U.S. policy that directly affects Washington’s international competitiveness, and sector-specific initiatives.

Last year several of our policy priorities were passed by Congress, including re-authorization of the Export-Import Bank and approval of permanent normal trade relations with Russia, and we plan to make this year just as successful. With so many exciting developments this year in trade policy (negotiations of TPP, Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, WTO services agreement, etc.), we’re hoping that 2013 will be our most productive year yet.

To save you having to do all the work of clicking on the link above, here’s the complete list of WCIT’s 2013 policy priorities:

I. Major Trade Liberalization Efforts

  • Encourage Successful Negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Regional Trade Agreement
  • Negotiate a U.S.-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership
  • Negotiate a WTO Services Trade Agreement
  • Support Increased U.S. Competitiveness in Trade with China and India

II. Changes in U.S. Policy that Increase Washington’s International Competitiveness

  • Pass Trade Promotion Authority
  • Increase State and Federal Investment in Freight Mobility
  • Keep the Export-Import Bank of the United States Operating Effectively

III. Sector-Specific Initiatives

  • Support Efforts to Reduce Tariffs on Footwear and Performance Outerwear
  • Facilitate Increased International Tourism through Travel Visa Reform
  • Reform the Harbor Maintenance Tax

We’ll be updating our website with individual pages and factsheets on each of the above items and, of course, doing lots of blog posts as well. And you can check out our recent newsletter for information on how each of these policies impacts Washington employers.

Finally, we want to hear from you on these policy priorities! Are there things you’d like to add, or issues you want learn more about? Would you like to get engaged in our advocacy to support these policy efforts? Contact us to share your thoughts.

We look forward to you letting us know how we can best represent Washington employers in ways that maximize your success in the global marketplace, and to continuing to work with you to increase Washington’s international competitiveness.

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