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Forty percent of jobs in Washington state are tied to trade

Hawkins Multimedia

Trade is even more important to Washington state’s economy than previously thought. A new report says 40 percent of jobs in the state are connected to exports and imports.

A lot of that trade, of course, stems from very expensive airplanes produced and shipped from Washington. But the new report from two trade booster groups sheds light on other parts of our state’s economy connected to trade - like international tourism.

Every time a visitor from Germany or Korea buys a Frappuccino here, those dollars are counted as an export. Sam Kaplan of the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle co-authored the report and says attracting visitors from overseas is a growth opportunity. 

"China is now the #2 source of international tourists," Kaplan said. "They weren’t even in the top 10 six or seven years ago."

Washington last year shuttered its tourism office, becoming one of the only states not to have one. Kaplan won’t go so far as to say the office needs to be reopened, but he says the state should spend more promoting itself. KPLU News.

In July 2017, Ashley Gross became KNKX's youth and education reporter after years of covering the business and labor beat. She joined the station in May 2012 and previously worked five years at WBEZ in Chicago, where she reported on business and the economy. Her work telling the human side of the mortgage crisis garnered awards from the Illinois Associated Press and the Chicago Headline Club. She's also reported for the Alaska Public Radio Network in Anchorage and for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.