December 9, 2019
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D.C. Fly-in strengthens partnerships with lawmakers, trade partners

Almost 30 AWB members from across the state, representing a diverse array of business sectors, spent three days in Washington, D.C., last week, meeting with policymakers, top officials and key trading partners.

The sixth-annual AWB D.C. Fly-in gave employers, many of them representing small businesses, a chance to talk directly with members of Congress from both parties.

Top issues in nearly all the discussions:

How trade powers Washington's economy (one of the most trade-driven states in the nation), and how the USMCA trade deal with Canada and Mexico needs to be passed into law by Congress;

The urgency of renewing the Export-Import Bank, which protects American manufacturers and supports jobs across Washington and the nation;

The need for infrastructure investments, including rural broadband and a new bridge across the Columbia River from Vancouver to Portland;

Health care, from costs to innovation; and

The value of dependable, affordable energy supplies to communities and employers, and how to ensure that dependability continues as green energy is incorporated into the grid.

The group met with U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, as well as U.S. Reps. Denny Heck, Jaime Herrera Beutler, Rick Larsen, Suzan DelBene, Dan Newhouse, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Derek Kilmer and Kim Schrier. Other topics of discussion included the impeachment proceedings (with a briefing from former U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton), the Export-Import Bank, energy, health care, taxes and more.

The group also met with the embassies or trade offices from the nations of Japan, the United Kingdom and Vietnam.

AWB organized the first fly-in for Washington employers in 2014 as the association increased its focus on federal issues. This year's group was the biggest ever, but the meetings with members of Congress are still small enough that everyone can speak their mind about issues of importance.

"This is a chance for a small group to have a big impact," said Tim Peckinpaugh of K&L Gates, AWB's lobbying firm in Washington, D.C.

To learn more about being part of next year's event, or for more information on AWB's federal engagement, contact AWB Government Affairs Director Amy Anderson.

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Spreading Christmas Joy

Vote on U.S., Mexico, Canada trade agreement for the sake of Washington's economic growth

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

Washington's Congressional delegation and Gov. Jay Inslee should advocate strongly for prompt approval of the new trade agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

The nearly complete agreement is enormously important to Washington's economic growth and job creation. The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) also substantially improves environmental and labor protections over NAFTA, the 1994 agreement it will replace...

Inslee's support is important. He was a strong advocate for NAFTA while in Congress in the 1990s.

But campaigning for president last summer, Inslee was skeptical of USMCA, siding with wary unions and environmental groups seeking more aggressive mandates...

With Inslee now seeking another term leading trade-dependent Washington, he should be more publicly supportive of progress USMCA makes and benefits it would bring the entire state.

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
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By The Tri-City Herald Editorial Board

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It can be found at

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We have been critical of this state effort since its proposal nearly a year ago, but now that written comments are being taken we encourage people to fill out the survey and let their voices be heard.

Read the full editorial in the Tri-City Herald.