Forty percent of jobs in Washington state are tied to trade

Oct 2, 2012

Trade is even more important to Washington state’s economy than previously thought. A new report says 40 percent of jobs in the state are connected to exports and imports.

A lot of that trade, of course, stems from very expensive airplanes produced and shipped from Washington. But the new report from two trade booster groups sheds light on other parts of our state’s economy connected to trade - like international tourism.

Every time a visitor from Germany or Korea buys a Frappuccino here, those dollars are counted as an export. Sam Kaplan of the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle co-authored the report and says attracting visitors from overseas is a growth opportunity. 

"China is now the #2 source of international tourists," Kaplan said. "They weren’t even in the top 10 six or seven years ago."

Washington last year shuttered its tourism office, becoming one of the only states not to have one. Kaplan won’t go so far as to say the office needs to be reopened, but he says the state should spend more promoting itself. KPLU News.