Weekly B-MOW: Ride the Bus for the Good of International Trade

February 28, 2011

Last week’s Best Meeting of the Week was hard to pick. For a short, four-day week, there were a wealth of options. But, proximity is the mother of inspiration (or something like that), so I’m going to go with Friday’s meeting. On Friday, I was at the Sea-Tac Airport Conference Center for the “Pacific Northwest Supply Chain Summit: Identifying Key Infrastructure and Logistics Issues and their Potential Solutions.” Put on jointly by the Ports of Seattle, Tacoma and Portland*, this was a forum for folks in the logistics and international trade industry (ports, manufacturers, railroads, trucking companies, expeditors, etc.) to share with the federal government their highest priority policy initiatives around supply chain infrastructure. In particular, the feds were interested in hearing about changes that would facilitate increased exports, in line with the National Export Initiative.

Now, a half day session on export promotion and supply chain infrastructure doesn’t have as much intrigue as season two of The Wire (which took place at a port, for the non-initiated). But I learned, or at least reinforced, some interesting things. And my number one take-away about export promotion through supply chain infrastructure investments? Sometimes investments in commute-trip reduction are just as good as new multi-modal infrastructure. Or to say it a different way, investments that get people out of their cars help facilitate international trade!

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Weekly B-MOW: Surveys and More Surveys

October 8, 2010

Giving the people what they want, it’s time for the second installment of our second feature: Best Meeting of the Week. It’s the chronicles of our adventures in the world of economic development, sharing the most interesting, exciting or unique things that the Prosperity crew is doing. This week’s B-MOW? Two meetings on surveys! Read the rest of this entry »


But What Are We Exporting, and to Who?

February 8, 2010

I’m loving the ongoing blog back-and-forth about the President’s new National Export Initiative (NEI); it really is what this blog was intended to be: a place for folks from the Puget Sound to discuss and debate economic development issues. But I do think that the dialogue so far has missed out on one important topic: what are we exporting and to who? Read the rest of this entry »


Double Dare

February 5, 2010

Frank, in a comment on my previous post, Doubling Down on Exports, asks an excellent question: “is there any way to really achieve Obama’s goals of doubling exports other than a massive devaluation of the dollar?”  He anticipated my plan to address the currency issue in more detail in another post, mainly this one.

As I noted in my response to Frank, Obama has specifically mentioned the currency issue in relation to his plan to increase U.S. exports. Earlier this week Obama said, “one of the challenges that we’ve got to address internationally is currency rates and how they match up.”  Lots of people are complaining about China keeping the Yuan artificially low. But, we should remember that lots of countries over the last 30 years have been doing the same thing.  As if Toyota doesn’t have enough problems, they and Read the rest of this entry »


Doubling Down on Exports

February 4, 2010

It is not surprising that a U.S. Secretary of Commerce who hails from the most trade dependent state in America would lead the charge to get America to double its exports over the next five years as Obama called for last week in his State of the Union speech.  Today, Gary Locke added detailed cargo to the rhetorical container ship Obama steered into the ocean of politics last week (or, uh, something like that). Locke calls the effort to double our country’s exports the National Export Initiative (NEI).  The NEI will increase funding for export promotion, put more emphasis on advocating for U.S. exporters’ interests overseas and create an Export Promotion Cabinet.   The effort also calls for providing more access to credit for exporters by increasing funding for the Export Import Bank from $4 to $6 billion to be chiefly aimed at small and medium size businesses. Read the rest of this entry »