March 18, 2019
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AWB leads trade mission to Japan to celebrate Business and Baseball

It's "Business and Baseball" in Tokyo as a trade delegation from Washington state takes in the MLB season's first games in Japan -- and celebrates the deep trade ties between Washington state and the nation of Japan.

Japan is Washington’s third-largest export market, behind only China and Canada. That's one reason that AWB President Kris Johnson and AWB Board Chair Tim Schauer are joining the heads of the Washington departments of Commerce and Agriculture, and others, to visit with their counterparts in Japan this week.

The trade mission coincides with the start of the Mariners season, as they play games against the Oakland Athletics in the Tokyo Dome.

AWB's partners in putting on the trip include the Washington Department of Commerce, Greater Seattle Partners and the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

In addition to taking in the Mariners-Athletics games, the agenda includes discussions around trade and agriculture, high-speed rail and a tour of the Port of Tokyo.

Follow along with the trip on Twitter under the hashtag #BusinessAndBaseball, and watch for a story on the trip in the summer edition of Washington Business magazine.

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Competitiveness Matters

State won 'economic lottery;' it doesn't need new taxes

By Kris Johnson and Steve Mullin

Imagine winning the lottery tomorrow. You'd have $10 million to spend on whatever you wanted in an instant.

Of course, the prudent thing would be to get a financial adviser and plan for the future. Ensure you have a strong foundation and adequate savings, then decide what you can splurge on. This scenario is not unlike the position our state finds itself in after years of economic recovery and expansion.

Economic and tax revenue growth in Washington state has been extraordinary over the last decade.

So much so that state and local tax growth in Washington was the highest in the nation from 2015 to 2016. The state expects tax collections will top $50 billion for the first time during the next two-year budget cycle. That's $4 billion more than the last cycle and nearly $11 billion more than it had in 2015-17.

Washington has leveraged this growth to invest in important programs, dramatically increasing state funding for public education, for example.

But we need to recognize that this lottery-like period of growth is far from normal. And it has come at a time when Washington also steadily increased the cost of doing business here...

Read the guest commentary in The (Everett) Herald
Competitiveness Matters

Former Rep. Chandler: Inslee threat to prosperity

By Charles H. Featherstone in The Columbia Basin Herald

MOSES LAKE -- Gary Chandler has a message for Gov. Jay Inslee.

"Don't take away our opportunity to be competitive."

The drive for 100 percent clean energy would deprive the Pacific Northwest of its competitive edge on power prices, and the governor's proposed $4 billion in new taxes would hit the state's small business people particularly hard, Chandler said.

"The economy is good, but the economy is starting to slow," Chandler said. "Don't spend everything, don't tax everything."

Read the full story about Chandler's recent talk in The Columbia Basin Herald
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