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Weekly Trade Spotlight: Trade in Washington

On Monday, United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk met with ASEAN Economic Ministers in Seattle, Washingon. This week's trade spotlight highlights the importance of trade in Washington.

For hundreds of thousands of workers in Washington State, trade has supported well-paying jobs and new opportunities. In 2009, Washington exported over $51 billion in goods worldwide, supporting over 300,000 manufacturing and nearly 40,000 agriculture jobs. Trade helps American families by making more goods affordable like fruit and vegetables. Business owners, ranchers, farmers and entrepreneurs are also benefitting from the new markets and opportunities to expand their businesses because of trade. 

Both large companies like Boeing and small business like the Sterlitech Corporation in Kent, have grown their companies through trade. Boeing exports their airplanes to countries in South America, Europe and Asia, which supports thousands of well-paying jobs. The Sterlitech Corporation exports around 30% of the filtration products that it produces each year as well and employees 10 workers. 

In Washington, more companies are exploring new opportunities abroad – especially across the Pacific Ocean. Metriguard, a company based out of Pullman that employees 23 workers, produces machine stress rating equipment involved in lumber production. It has expanded its sales by exporting to Australia. For many companies, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will provide many new opportunities to export goods abroad. This means that trade will support more jobs at home for American workers. 

The ports in Tacoma, Seattle and elsewhere are busy loading ships with American-made goods for export to places like Asia and Australia. Agreements like the TPP will continue to ensure that the citizens of Washington have more opportunities for well-paying jobs and that Washington businesses can grow by exporting their products abroad.