Seattle, Tacoma leaders engage in Obama Administration’s push to double US exports

By: | at 08:00 PM | Channel(s): International Trade  Ports & Terminals  

Ports say solving container shortage, coordinating infrastructure investments key to creating, protecting American agriculture and manufacturing jobs
Following on President Obama’s call to double U.S. exports in five years, the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma provided suggestions and support for the National Export Initiative to U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke. Seattle CEO Tay Yoshitani and Tacoma Interim Executive Director John Wolfe sent a letter to Secretary Locke providing concrete ideas for supporting the nearly 1.4 million jobs in Washington that depend on a healthy export and freight industry.
Wolfe testified March 16 before the House Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee to discuss the importance of efficient goods movement; on March 25, Yoshitani will address the Senate Finance Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness about these issues.
“When we ship Washington apples and wine to family tables across the globe, we create steady jobs and we build the economy for our state,” said Yoshitani. “To do that more effectively, we need the roads and rail to get them to the dock and the containers to ship them.
“Freight mobility concerns are clearly national in scope, and they deserve the close attention of the federal government,” Wolfe told Congressional representatives. “Simply put, if we cannot provide efficient, cost-effective intermodal connections and service, the cargo will flow through other port gateways-such as Canada.”
The two ports, which between them generate more than 200,000 jobs for Washington state, urged Secretary Locke to approach U.S. trade competitiveness in a coordinated, strategic way. Suggestions include a series of regional hearings to gain insight from the farmers and manufacturers whose livelihoods depend on a thriving global trade; an examination of the container shortage that sometimes means Washington products cannot make it to market; and ensuring proposed new agents for the International Trade Administration include shipping and logistics experts deployed in key emerging markets to promote U.S. goods.

American Journal of Transportation