Digital Trade Is Now a Multibillion-Dollar Driver of Washington State’s Economy

State and national leaders must take the steps necessary to ensure trade policies foster continued growth, new report says
Updated: Thu, 03/05/2020 - 16:19
 
 
  • State and national leaders must take the steps necessary to ensure trade policies foster continued growth, new report says

Washington’s digital commerce sector represents nearly 5% of all digital export volume in the nation, with the state’s export volume totaling nearly $2.9 billion between 2014 and 2018, a new report from the Washington Council on International Trade (WCIT) reveals.

The report, “Washington State Digital Trade: Barriers and Opportunities,” examines digital commerce’s growth and impact on businesses statewide makes a case for ensuring trade policies and future trade agreements establish standards for digital trade. The report notes that the recently enacted U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) contains a digital-trade chapter, the first U.S. trade pact to contain such international standards.

“The ICT [information, communication and technology] sector is instrumental in driving digital trade,” the WCIT reports sates. “In addition to major corporations like Microsoft and Amazon, leading companies in the sector include Zulily, F5 Networks, Zillow, Redfin, ExtraHop, Tableau Software, Big Fish Games (with mobile and PC games played in 150 countries), and Remitly, a platform for sending international remittance payments."

The report notes that e-commerce, powered by cloud computing, has driven investment in the non-digital economy through the development in Washington of an extensive transportation infrastructure that includes fulfilment centers, warehousing, trucking, rail and other shipping modes.

"Washington State has been the source of dramatic changes felt around the world where new international customers for our businesses and farmers are now just a click away,” says Lori Otto Punke, president of WCIT. “We need to take the steps necessary to ensure our trade policies and agreements keep up with the times so that Washingtonians can reap the full benefits of the digital era,"

The Washington Council on International Trade is a membership-based organization representing manufacturers, farmers retailers service providers and nonprofits and advocates for pro-trade policies and investments that benefit Washington state’s economy.

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