Monthly eNewsletter
May 2013
In This Issue
Save the Date for WCIT's Summer Trade Luncheon
WCIT Raises Awareness About the Positive Roles of Imports in Our Economy
WCIT Members Advocate for Pro-Trade Policies in D.C
WCIT Submits Letter on Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership
WCIT Honors Its Founder Dick Ford

WCIT in
the News

 

Lower Columbia College Hosts the Washington Council on International Trade to Discuss International Competitiveness (Millennium Bulk Terminals - Longview, May 9, 2013)

 

 Imports Play a Major Economic Role for State and Nation (Tacoma News Tribune, May 2, 2013)

 

Imports Play a Major Economic Role for State and Nation (The Bellingham Herald, May 2, 2013)

 

 Imports Play a Major Economic Role for State and Nation

(The Olympian, May 2, 2013)

 

 Port of Vancouver Report: Transportation = Jobs (The Columbian, April 25, 2013)

Monument Policy Group
Visit Seattle
Washington Farm Bureau

WCIT Advisory Board
 
 
 
Marc Berejka, REI
 
Mark Calhoon, Washington State Department of Commerce*
 
Susan Champlain, Boeing Company (Chair)
 Nate Graddy, Boeing Company
 
Steve Crane, Crane International 
 
Dorothy Dwoskin, Microsoft Corporation (Vice-Chair)
 
Karl Ege, Perkins Coie 
Ann Nagele, Perkins Coie
 
Commissioner Courtney Gregoire, Port of Seattle 
Beth Osborne, Port of Seattle 
Ryan McFarland, Port of Seattle
 
Matt Harris, Washington State Potato Commission
 
Harvey Jones, Waterstone Brands, Inc. (Treasurer)
  
Henry Kotkins, SWL Holdings
 
Emily Lawson, Dorsey & Whitney LLP
 
Monty Montoya, SightLife 
 
Lori Otto Punke, Starbucks Coffee Company
 
Commissioner Clare Petrich, Port of Tacoma 
Sean Eagan, Port of Tacoma 
 
Mark Powers, NW Horticultural Council
 
Tim Punke, Monument Policy Group 
 
Heather Ray, Wells Fargo Global Banking
 
David Tang, K&L Gates LLP
Pallavi Wahi, K&L Gates LLP

 

*ex-officio

Board alternates in italics

 

Message from WCIT President
Eric Schinfeld 

 

Nothing like an unseasonably warm spring day in May to make you think about the joys of summer: baseball, watersports, picnics and trade policy.  What was that last one, you ask? That's right...trade policy!

 

As many of you start to plan your summer vacations, we here at WCIT are getting geared up for some of the busiest and most productive months of the year, with Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations beginning, Trade Promotion Authority legislation about to be introduced in the Senate Finance Committee, Japan joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Harbor Maintenance Tax reform proposals under consideration as part of the Senate Water Resources Development Act. And that doesn't even include the potential trade policy impacts of the Washington State Legislature's special session, like freight mobility investments and tax decisions that would impact our ability to remain competitive. It's looking like one hot summer for trade policy!

 

As always, WCIT will be active on each of these issues to make sure that the voice of Washington businesses is heard by policymakers in both Olympia and Washington, D.C. We got a head start on this work last week on our annual WCIT D.C. Fly-In, when business leaders from across our state traveled to D.C. to meet with our Congressional Delegation to discuss our 2013 Policy Priorities. If you didn't make it to D.C. with us, we're going to bring D.C. to you in August at the WCIT Summer Trade Luncheon, which will provide a great opportunity to get the inside story on trade policy developments from some of D.C.'s top trade policy experts.

 

In between your trips to the beach and the lake, we want to make sure you have plenty of opportunities to engaged in our work. So we hope that you'll join us for events, sign onto policy letters and help us advocate for the trade policy issues that maximize opportunities for Washington businesses in the global economy. If we work together, the trade policy seeds that we plant now will bloom in the fall. And that will give me another chance to make strange linkages between seasons and trade policy... 

 

Save the Date for WCIT's Summer Trade Luncheon: August 8, 2013

 

WCIT's Summer Trade Luncheon offers an opportunity for business leaders from across Washington state to gather six months into the year for an update on Congressional trade policy accomplishments and upcoming opportunities. The theme of this year's luncheon is "The Trade Policy View from D.C.," and the afternoon will feature a panel discussion with leading Washington, D.C. trade policy advocates.

 

 

 

Please mark your calendars for Thursday, August 8, 2013, from 12 to 1:30 p.m., and stay tuned for more details. For more information, contact Eric Schinfeld at 206.389.7273 or erics@wcit.org.

WCIT Raises Awareness About the Benefits of Imports to Washington

 

Last week, WCIT partnered with a coalition of organizations representing thousands of businesses across the country to help lead Imports Work Week, an annual awareness effort that publicizes the positive, often unheralded role that imports play in the U.S. economy. In Washington, at least 277,000 jobs are tied to imports, and many exporters are competitive because of the container capacity at our ports created by imports.

 

To kick the week off, WCIT authored a joint Op-Ed with the Tacoma-Pierce Chamber in the Tacoma News Tribune, The Olympian and The Bellingham Herald on the importance of imports to Washington state's economy. WCIT also developed an imports factsheet that highlights how imports positively impact consumers, jobs and companies in our state.

 

At the end of the week, WCIT hosted an Imports Roundtable -an engaging discussion with 30 top business and government leaders on communications and policy strategies that could acknowledge imports' role in our state's economic success. Look for future updates as WCIT works with its members and other partners to advance a proactive imports agenda that helps grow Washington's international competitiveness.

WCIT Members Advocate for Pro-Trade Policies in D.C. 

 

On May 7, business leaders from across the state traveled to Washington, D.C., to discuss WCIT's 2013 Policy Priorities with the Washington Congressional delegation and other top trade policy officials as part of the 2013 WCIT DC Fly-in.

WCIT members and President Eric Schinfeld meeting with Senator Cantwell
WCIT members share their policy priorities with Senator Maria Cantwell

This year, Fly-In participants focused their efforts on near term opportunities to increase Washington's international competitiveness, from legislation to reform the Harbor Maintenance Tax to granting Trade Promotion Authority to the President so that he can expeditiously negotiate and pass future trade agreements. Members of the Washington Congressional delegation were eager to learn from WCIT members and look forward to an ongoing relationship with WCIT that can help them lead on pro-trade legislation. 

 

The Fly-In also provided an opportunity for attendees to get an insider's perspective on trade policy from Angela Ellard and Jason Kearns, Chief Trade Counsels for the House Ways and Means Committee, and Jasper MacSlarrow, Executive Director of IP for the Global IP Center at the US Chamber of Commerce.

WCIT Submits Letter on Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership

 

The European Union is one of Washington state's top trading partners, accounting for 14 percent of our state's goods exports and five of the top ten country destinations for our services exports. Lowering trade barriers through a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) could considerably expand Washington state businesses' potential in the European Union, which possesses a population of over 500 million.

 

To be successful, however, a TTIP will have go beyond lowering or eliminating tariffs and address complex and controversial issues such as regulatory barriers. Differences in regulations prevent Washington businesses in fields such as agriculture, pharmaceuticals and financial services from selling their products in Europe, so an effective TTIP must open the European market to Washington state goods and services by harmonizing regulations.

 

On behalf of WCIT members, WCIT submitted a letter to the USTR emphasizing the importance of regulatory harmonization and tariff and non-tariff barrier reduction to Washington employers. Successful negotiation of the TTIP is one of  WCIT's 2013 Policy Priorities.

 

For more information on TTIP and its impact on Washington state, see WCIT's TTIP factsheet.

WCIT Honors Its Founder Dick Ford

  

Richard (Dick) Douglas Ford was a Seattle business and civic leader who helped establish Washington state as a leader in international trade. His distinguished career included service as the Executive Director of the Washing-

ton Public Ports Association and the Port of Seattle, which helped him realize the importance of trade to the future of our region.

 

In fact, it was this insight that led him to press for the creation of an organization dedicated to advocacy to support the broad range of businesses, government agencies and non-profits whose interests center on trade. Under Dick's leadership and with his vision, WCIT was formed; he served as its first Chair and was a long-time board member.  WCIT continues to flourish to this day with its mission virtually unchanged from the way Dick Ford envisioned it decades ago.

 

On May 5, Dick Ford lost his three year battle with lymphoma. He was 83. A celebration of Dick Ford's life will take place at Bell Harbor Conference Center at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, June 5.

This Month in the State of Trade Blog
  

The Other Good Thing About Coffee, Bananas and Chocolate 

 

You don't often turn to the State of Trade blog for food advice. While we're a fantastic repository for insightful and enjoyable trade policy analysis, our blogs usually whet your appetite for increased international competitiveness...not lunch. But thanks to  Imports Work Week,we're all about delicious coffee, bananas and chocolates.

 

Or, at least, that's the clever opening line of our recent joint  WCIT-Tacoma-Pierce Chamber op-ed  on the positive (and often forgotten) roles imports play in our 21st century economy.  So coffees, bananas and chocolates not only make a great snack (and a good suggestion for a new Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor - Importer's Delight!); they help reinforce the underappreciated message that imports are key to our state's trade success.

 

 Read More

 

 The State Senate Budget vs. International Competitiveness

 

If there's one thing that you should know by this point about the State of Trade blog, it's that we're equal opportunity defenders of Washington's international competitiveness. So, while we're more than willing to share our thoughts on how the Governor's budget might negatively impact our state's success in the global marketplace, it's not a partisan thing. Which means that, if the State Senate - which is run by a different party than the Governor - releases a budget that might negatively impact our international competitiveness, State of Trade is there to call it out.

 

For this edition, we're going to focus specifically on one aspect of our state's international competitiveness that the Senate budget proposes to raise taxes on: foreign students.

 

Read More