Re: “Don’t think a Northwest presence is a sure thing with Boeing” (Bill Virgin column, 4-21).
Boeing’s recent and continuing decisions to divide its operations abroad will put it among many multinational corporations that have done the same.
This brings to light a key feature of how the global economy works. It is based upon the reciprocal benefit of businesses and citizens to attract global capital and essentially build the city around the workers and consumers those large businesses bring.
This theory of urban development was adopted by some large cities – Chicago, for example, which faced a severe economic downturn after manufacturing left the city in the 1980s. And much to their delight it brought them the Boeing headquarters in 2001.
The Puget Sound region had already attracted in Boeing the global player that it needed for initial economic growth. The loss of Boeing is an unsettling hit to the economy, but regardless of that loss, the Puget Sound area has developed into something entirely new from when Boeing first arrived. Seattle and the Northwest now represent a region of international trade that is exactly what attracts global corporations to invest.
Perhaps the days of aerospace manufacturing are over in the Northwest, but once it is all said and done this region will still be ripe with consumer demand, high-quality universities that corporations love to recruit from and develop around, and advanced metropolitan cities like Seattle that provide perfect locations for future capital investment.