February 18, 2019
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New report highlights impact of U.S.-China trade tensions on Washington state

As negotiators in the U.S. and China work to ink a new trade deal, the economic implications of the ongoing trade tension and tariffs on Washington state are mounting, according to a new report by the Washington Council on International Trade (WCIT).

In explaining the impact of Washington state trade with China, the WCIT highlights the following figures: “China is one of Washington state’s top trading partners, according to reports finding, which are presented by county and congressional district: “In 2017 (latest available full-year data), Washington exporters sold an estimated $13.8 billion in merchandise and commodities to China, and an additional $1.6 billion in services (all values in 2018 $). The largest source of Washington state merchandise and commodities exports to China in 2017 was King County, with an estimated $5.9 billion in sales, of which 86% were aerospace exports. Snohomish County followed, with $5.4 billion (95% aerospace). By congressional district, District 2 (representing parts of Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom counties) exported more than an estimated $6.0 billion in 2017 to China. (Note: estimated services exports are only available by congressional district and not by county.)”

The goal of the trade deal renegotiation, the report notes, is to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with China, which totaled $375.6 billion in 2017.

WCIT’s assessment of the impact of the trade dispute comes as The Wall Street Journal reports that last week “China and the U.S. inched toward a broad agreement aimed at defusing their market-rattling trade tensions, with top negotiators agreeing to further talks next week in Washington after a weeklong session here.”

According to the newspaper, the U.S. delegation focused on a range of structural issues, including forced technology transfer, intellectual property rights, cyber theft and currency, and discussed China’s purchases of U.S. goods and services.

In a statement, the White House press secretary said both sides “have agreed that any commitments will be stated in a Memoranda of Understanding between the two countries.”

The full WCIT report can be read here.

For more information on federal issues, contact AWB Government Affairs Director Amy Anderson at 360.943.1600.

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