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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 17, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Coal exporting makes economic sense for Washington

If shipments through Wash. ports increase, investment in infrastructure does too

I applaud the idea of keeping the debate about building new bulk-export facilities on a rational rather than an emotional level.

If the goal behind the notion cited in Lance Dickie’s post, “Look at the economic costs of exporting coal,” [Online, Dec. 6] is indeed an unbiased rational look at the economics of transporting and trading bulk-export commodities, that should be applauded. Too often, studies are skewed by preordained policy wishes and don’t look at key facts. Hopefully that will not be the case with this study.

Information in Dickie’s post implied that transporting products from out-of-state sources is bad for the local economy and infrastructure. Much of Washington’s economy is based on trading goods that originate from beyond our state’s borders. Approximately 70 percent of the imports that come through the ports of Seattle and Tacoma don’t stop in Washington — they continue by train and truck to various inland markets crossing many states.

Enhancing our ability to grow exports, and the port and rail infrastructure that enables trade, makes sound economic sense for Washington. But trade doesn’t operate in a vacuum. If the shipment of products from other states through Washington ports increases, we would surely benefit by greater infrastructure investment here.

— Anthony Hemstad, president of World Trade Center, Tacoma

0 Comments | More in Economy, trade | Topics: Coal exporting, trade

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