August 19, 2019
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Employers bring concerns to final hearing on new overtime salary limit; public comment still open

The Department of Labor & Industries held its final public hearing last week on its proposal to set a new minimum overtime salary of $79,000. Employers said an update to the rule is necessary, but this salary threshold would cause hardships. L&I will take public comment until Sept. 6.

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Supporters asked to speak up for LNG storage facility in Tacoma

AWB is supporting Puget Sound Energy's final permitting hurdles as it builds a liquid natural gas (LNG) storage facility in Tacoma. This will allow ships to move away from dirty bunker fuel, creating the cleanest shipping fleet on the West Coast. The 8-million-gallon tank will also ensure greater reliability in the natural gas network serving the western United States.

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Dru Garson and Greater Grays Harbor receive AWB's 2019 Chamber Advocacy Award

In a surprise presentation last week, AWB President Kris Johnson honored the energetic contributions of Dru Garson, CEO of Greater Grays Harbor. Through advocacy in Olympia and statewide, Garson has embodied the spirt of AWB's Grassroots Alliance, Johnson said.

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AWB's Federal Affairs Summit kicks off today with evening reception in the Tri-Cities

The 2019 Federal Affairs brings together many of Washington's congressional members, policy experts, and your fellow business leaders to discuss the federal issues that impact all of us. The event kicks off tonight with a networking reception. Tomorrow brings a full agenda of policy panels, congressional speakers and a keynote address from the U.S. Department of Energy Under Secretary.

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AWB hotel block for Policy Summit Sept. 17-19 at Suncadia Resort closes TODAY

Policy Summit is back! We recommend booking your room now, the AWB hotel block at Suncadia Resort closes today. One of our most popular events, this one often sells out. Don't miss a point counter-point with two former White House chiefs of staff, and dozens of other compelling speakers. Register now!

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Choose HealthChoice
America Needs the Ex-Im Bank

Help state's diverse exporters keep making sales

By The (Everett) Herald Editorial Board

As a "good, and easy to win" trade war escalates with China, now would be a dumb time to take a useful tool away from Washington state's exporters of wine, seafood, software and -- oh, yes -- airliners and other advanced manufactured products.

Especially so, since that tool's full utility was restored only earlier this spring after being left hobbled for nearly four years.

That tool is the U.S. Export-Import Bank.

The Export-Import Bank, in operation for 85 years, helps businesses large and small by providing loans, insurance and other assistance that help promote exports by those businesses. That trade assistance helps those businesses secure sales that otherwise might not be facilitated by private-sector banks. While the federal government provides some funding for the bank's administration, its lending makes the bank self-supporting, and it actually is a money-maker for the nation, returning $5.2 billion to the U.S. Treasury during the last 10 years...

Read the full editorial in The Herald
Trade War Casualties

The Tariff Battle With China Threatens Washington's Well-Being

By Spencer Cohen

If left unchecked, the trade war between the U.S. and China has the potential for long-lasting damage to the Washington state economy. U.S. businesses have many legitimate grievances toward China, including intellectual property theft and industrial policies that seemingly disadvantage them in China. But the longer the dispute remains unresolved, the greater the risk to Washington's historically prosperous trade relationship with China. Trade wars, as a general rule, yield no true winners. The collateral damage -- in terms of lost overseas market share, aggravated supply chains, a reduction of cargo handled at our ports, reduced investment, and impacts to households in the form of higher costs -- can be pernicious.

Washington's close linkages with China make this region all the more vulnerable to an extended contraction of trade, impacting local businesses and communities across the state. For years, U.S.-China economic ties have helped mollify impulses for more aggressive agitation and flare-ups. A reduction in economic interdependence means less economic benefits are immediately at stake from a more strained relationship or even confrontation, a dangerous scenario for the world and Washington state's economic well-being.

Read the full editorial in Seattle Business Magazine