December 8, 2014
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At Puget Sound ports, some shippers say damage from work slowdown already done

The longshore work slowdown at the ports of Seattle and Tacoma has done damage that will last beyond the holiday shopping season, The Puget Sound Business Journal reports.

Agricultural exports will be particularly affected, with fears that customers overseas will simply move to more reliable non-American suppliers.

Negotiations between the International Longshore Workers Union and the Pacific Maritime Association were set to resume last week after a two-week break, but loading and unloading of ships remains far slower than normal.

The Columbian has joined the voices calling for presidential intervention, saying “a labor dispute that has infected ports up and down the West Coast is a threat to the national economy.”

And with Washington exports slowed to a crawl, the Puget Sound Business Journal took a look at exactly what is inside those containers. Among the goods waiting to leave for customers around the globe: diamonds, ultrasound machines and crops ranging from apples to soybeans.

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New 'business-blue' coalition focuses on protecting Washington's trade status

By Eric Schinfeld, Washington Council on International Trade

As an advocate for international trade, I'm fortunate to work with some of the most innovative global brands in America today, witnessing companies whose efforts both distinguish them across the globe and also bring jobs and prosperity back to America's middle class. Last week, following our annual Washington Trade Conference, I introduced a panel discussion convened by partners from Keep Washington Competitive, a new coalition of business and labor leaders.

READ MORE: Click here for the full op-ed column in the Puget Sound Business Journal

Opinion: Gov. Inslee and Carbon Emissions Reduction Taskforce should carefully consider climate policy

By Mike Elliott, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen

The low-carbon fuel standard the governor is considering by way of executive order could raise prices at the pump anywhere from 13 cents a gallon to $1.50. I'm told the purpose of the fuel standard is to encourage sustainable fuel production and use, with the ultimate goal being a reduction in carbon emissions (largely from cars and trucks operating on our roadways).

When considering climate change on a global scale, few would dispute the need to seek reductions in carbon emissions. But without a thorough understanding of potential impacts on fuel prices and, ultimately, jobs connected to transportation costs, further study of the fuel standard as a means of achieving reduced carbon emissions is warranted. While I'm all for lower carbon, cleaner fuels and better efficiency in our cars, trucks, industrial processes and lives, I cannot support taking action without knowing for certain we're not sending jobs out of the state or, worse, overseas where few standards, if any, exist.

READ MORE: Click here for the full editorial in The Seattle Times
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