Washington State exports climb to record high

Led by aerospace industry sales, Washington state exports climbed to a record $66.26 billion last year, growing 25 percent over 2006 and nearly doubling in size over the past three years.
Aerospace exports comprised $9 billion of the $13 billion total increase over 2006, and constituted $41.8 billion of total exports in 2007. Several categories of agriculture and dairy products also experienced strong growth.
The trade statistics released recently by the Washington State Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development (CTED) were compiled by the World Institute for Strategic and Economic Research (WISER).
“I’m pleased to see that our trade missions and other efforts to promote Washington goods are paying off,” Gov. Chris Gregoire said. “I’ve met with world leaders from Mexico to South Korea to market airplanes, Washington cherries, apples, and French fries. I’ve hoisted a glass of Washington wine to promote tourism in our wine country. International trade is helping insulate our economy from the current national economic slowdown.”
Asia remained the top destination for Washington goods with nearly 50 percent of total exports. China was the state’s number one export market for the second consecutive year, followed by Japan, Canada, India and the Republic of Korea.
Don Brunell, president of the Association of Washington Business, called the increase in exports a positive sign that the state’s ongoing efforts to market itself internationally are paying off.
“It’s essential that we do trade missions, and we’ve got to do more of them,” he said. “They want the governor to come and say ‘It’s good to do business with us.'”
Dick Conway, a private economist and member of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors, agreed that Washington’s heavy reliance on foreign trade should help the state weather the current economic slowdown.
“Strong demand abroad for Washington goods and services, such as airplanes, software, and agricultural products, is one of the things that will likely keep the state economy out of recession, even if the U.S. economy goes into one,” he said. “Historically, our ability to take advantage of international markets has been one of the keys to our success and the distinguishing factor that has caused the Washington economy to grow faster than the U.S. economy over the years.”
CTED Director Juli Wilkerson said trade continues to offer excellent growth opportunities for Washington business.
“The weakness of the dollar against other currencies makes U.S. products very attractive right now,” she said.
“Our trade specialists stand ready to help companies develop appropriate export strategies,” added Larry Williams, director of CTED’s International Trade and Economic Development Division.
For the complete report, go to http://www.cted.wa.gov/site/122/default.aspx .
These statistical data represent the value of exported products that originated in Washington state. They do not include software exports or professional services such as legal, financial, architectural and engineering services.