Thursday, September 24, 2020
Sept. 24, 2020

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Feds release trade data tied to pact

Local protesters target proposed deal

By , Columbian Business Editor
2 Photos
Dorethea Simone, right, and others protest against the Trans Pacific Partnership along Fort Vancouver Way in Vancouver on Thursday.
Dorethea Simone, right, and others protest against the Trans Pacific Partnership along Fort Vancouver Way in Vancouver on Thursday. (Natalie Behring/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

The U.S. Department of Commerce on Thursday released a report listing existing trade volumes between each state and the countries that are included in the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, while declaring that the controversial new trade pact will boost American jobs, investments and exports.

The commerce department said that nearly 30 percent of Washington’s exports of goods in 2014 went to Trans-Pacific Partnership nations. Total Washington goods exports to those markets reached nearly $27 billion last year, the department said. Those exports included $7.4 billion to Japan, $999 million to Malaysia and $508 million to Vietnam.

Washington’s top exports to 11 other nations in the proposed partnership are transportation equipment, forest products, and machinery. Some 6,253 Washington companies exported goods to partnership countries in 2013, the government said.

Oregon exported $9.2 billion to countries in the partnership in 2014, representing 44 percent of the state’s exported goods, the report said.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a proposed trade deal among the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries, including Japan but not including China. The Obama administration hopes to win Congressional approval in 2016. A majority vote is required in both chambers.

About 15 people demonstrated outside Vancouver offices of Washington’s Congressional delegation on Thursday to protest the proposed trade partnership, said Don Steinke, an activist who did not attend the protest.

The department released the report following a conference call between journalists and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, who issued a statement.

“By eliminating more than 18,000 tariffs on ‘Made-in-America’ products sold overseas, the TPP will make it possible for more of our high-quality goods and services to reach some of the world’s fastest-growing markets,” Pritzker said. “In addition, the TPP reflects the highest standards on labor, the environment, and the digital economy ever to be included in a trade agreement, which will ensure that our businesses and workers can compete on a level playing field globally.”

Editor’s note: This story has been revised to reflect that the local protestors are against the entire trade pact, not just a specific provision of that pact. It also reflects that Don Steinke did not attend the demonstration.