Inside Opinion

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Tag: trade


Trade agreements would be good for both Washingtons

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

Free-trade pacts with Korea, Colombia and Panama – a hot topic in the other Washington – could heat up business in this Washington if they’re passed.

In fact, this state stands to be one of the biggest winners if Congress approves the long-delayed pacts in the next few weeks. The Korean pact alone could generate $10 billion in increased exports and tens of thousands of jobs.

Being the most trade-dependent state, Washington stands to be a huge beneficiary of increased shipping through the ports of Tacoma, Seattle, Olympia and other entry points if tariffs are eliminated or phased out on beef, cherries, apples, other agricultural items and manufactured goods. More goods being loaded onto ships headed toward Korea means more jobs and bigger payrolls.
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Put the brakes on trade dispute over tires

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

Will the Obama administration’s skirmish with China over tire tariffs flare up into a full-scale trade war? Or can neither country afford going ballistic with one of its most important trading partners – sort of a market-driven version of mutually assured destruction?

Let’s hope the second scenario is at work in the dispute between the United States and China over steeply increased U.S. tariffs on inexpensive Chinese tire imports. It’s in both countries’ interest to resolve the issue before it results in collateral damage to other industries.

China, which has officially complained about the administration’s action to the World Trade Organization, is hinting that it’s considering retaliation in the form of increased tariffs on imports of U.S. automotive products and certain chicken products.

The administration is obviously playing payback here – to labor unions that supported Barack Obama’s election. The tariffs – a 35 percent increase in 2010, 30 percent in 2011 and 25 percent in 2012 – were requested by the United Steelworkers of America, a union that represents many tire workers. Read more »