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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

November 19, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Next steps for Washington trade

Monday’s Washington Trade Conference drew 300 people who heard from such speakers as Scott Price, president & CEO of  Walmart Asia; David Dollar, a senior fellow, and John L. Thornton of the China Center at the Brookings Institution; and William Reinsch, president of the National Foreign Trade Council.

With Washington as probably the most trade dependent state in the nation — by one measure, 40 percent of the state’s jobs rely on it — the agenda was full, including discussions of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TTP), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), China-U.S. relations and port competitiveness.

I am out of town and wasn’t able to attend. In an email, Eric Schinfeld, president of the Washington Council on International Trade, said:

Identifying clear, tangible steps to drive action on the trade policies that matter most to Washington employers is key to our state’s success in the global economy.  By educating and energizing business, government and community leaders across the state, we can create the momentum necessary to make our state more internationally competitive and successful in the future.

Among the steps recommended was urging Congress to quickly approve fast-track trade promotion authority for President Obama to pursue the TPP and TTIP, “pursue all avenues” to ensure better protection of intellectual property in China, advocate for the transportation funding package in Olympia, and reform the Harbor Maintenance Tax and Maritime Goods Movement Tax, both of which keep our natural deep-water ports at a disadvantage.

I suspect the elephant in the room was the 777X. Boeing is the biggest driver of Washington’s outsized performance in exports. If Boeing’s presence declines here, do the trade math.

You can read more about the state’s stake in trade and WCIT at its Web site here.

And Don’t Miss: The structural decline of U.S. GDP in four charts | Zero Hedge

Today’s Econ Haiku:

Tim Geithner’s career

It’s where the revolving door

Leads straight to the bank

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