State of Washington Governor Chris Gregoire visited the Port of Tacoma to unveil her Container Ports Initiative, a plan to improve the movement of products to markets and workers to jobs. “The Next Washington is a strategy that challenges Washingtonians to invest in changes we can count on,” said Gregoire. “Part of this vision is to make critical investments in our infrastructure so that goods can be delivered to their markets in a timely fashion. The ports of Seattle and Tacoma serve as vital international gateways for the import and export of goods and provide a critical foundation for our state’s trade economy, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs statewide.”

Gregoire noted the significance of port growth and related economic opportunities. “Our ports are well-positioned to grow dramatically in the coming years - but if we fail to act now we are in danger of losing container traffic to competitors on the West Coast, in British Columbia or in Mexico,” she said. “If we make the right investments, we will see tremendous economic benefits for Washington citizens.”

The Governor’s Container Ports Initiative calls for the following collaborative strategies:

  • Increase mainline rail capacity in Washington;
  • Improve truck freight movement; and
  • Work to resolve land use compatibility and protection issues.

“Governor Gregoire recognizes that container shipping through the Ports of Tacoma and Seattle generates hundreds of thousands of family-wage jobs throughout Washington. The strategic initiatives introduced today can secure the competitive advantages of our ports and expand the long-term economic benefits that trade brings to Washington,” said Timothy J. Farrell, Executive Director of the Port of Tacoma. “We face fierce competition from California, Canada and even Mexico, so we’ll have to be even more competitive than we are today.”

“Having the Governor’s attention means everything to our state’s port activity and our competitiveness in the global market,” added Mic Dinsmore, CEO of the Port of Seattle. “If you grow trade, you can grow jobs, good jobs, across Washington. Our ports are key economic and historic assets that our state cannot afford to lose.”