December 16, 2019
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USMCA trade agreement moves forward



A new agreement that could boost the most trade-driven state has emerged from the nation's capital. House Democrats and the White House announced a new agreement on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement Tuesday.

This "rare bipartisan accomplishment," as the Los Angeles Times noted, paves the way for an updated free trade agreement for North America.

The deal was announced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who said it was "infinitely better" than the agreement reached last year with Mexico and Canada. She highlighted new enforcement provisions concerning Mexico's labor practices.

AWB has consistently highlighted the need for a new trade agreement to support Washington manufacturers and exporters, as has The Seattle Times.

National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons was pleased with the agreement's progress Tuesday.

"Manufacturers support the USMCA, and we are encouraged that the administration and House Democrats have forged a path forward, with the support of Canada and Mexico as well," Timmons said in a news release.

The House could vote to ratify the bill before the end of the year with the Senate likely approving it early next year.

And the Wall Street Journal reports that overall, this is a boost for many American businesses, "from farms to Silicon Valley."

Contact AWB's Amy Anderson, who handles federal affairs, to learn more.



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Spreading Christmas Joy
Holiday Kids Tree

Sharing the Spirit of the Season Across Our State

By AWB President Kris Johnson

As the state's business and manufacturing association, AWB is proud to lead a number of statewide efforts. Perhaps the most heartwarming is our job each December to coordinate the decorations and lighting of the state's holiday tree. Those decorations are always bundled up after the new year and donated to a local children's hospital.

Washington employers have donated a total of $438,000 to the Holiday Kids' Tree project over the last three decades. Just before the annual tree-lighting ceremony, we give bags of toys and checks to representatives from rural fire districts who distribute the food and toys to families in need. This year we were able to spread holiday cheer to families across the state, from Camano Island to Chelan and Walla Walla.

And speaking of trees, your state Capitol this year was filled with the greenery of a 34-foot noble fir, donated by Weyerhaeuser from its Vail Tree Farm near Rainier.

The tree was harvested from a small area that is being cleared to make room for a series of wind turbines at the new Skookumchuck Wind Farm. This 38-turbine project, a partnership between Puget Sound Energy, Weyerhaeuser, TransAlta and RES, will generate 137 megawatts of power -- enough to power 48,000 homes. That will be a gift for generations to come...

Read the full guest column in The (Centralia) Chronicle