Among the dismal economic news about the housing market, unemployment and consumer confidence, exports have been touted as a bright spot, and the key to economic recovery. Exports are a significant economic driver in the Northwest. Shipments from Oregon were valued at $10.3 billion between January and July of this year, according to data provided by the Portland U.S. Export Assistance Center.
And Washington is the most trade-dependent state in the nation. This is one reason why Washington Governor Chris Gregoire is currently on a trade mission to Asia, talking up cherries, potatoes and other products the Evergreen state sends around the world. Washington and Oregon are now considering exporting coal from other Western states to China to take advantage of that country’s seemingly endless energy demands, even as we try to cut down on our own coal consumption here.
Are you a business owner? Do you buy or sell goods in other countries? What have you seen? Is global trade affecting you? What role have exports played in your economic recovery?
- Dan Newhouse: Director of the Washington Department of Agriculture
- Scott Goddin: Director of the Portland US Export Assistance Center
- Dan Harris: Creator of the China Law Blog and attorney at Harris and Moure
- Richard Morse: Research lead for global coal markets at the Stanford Program on Energy and Sustainable Development