Washington State shippers in holding pattern as U.S.-China trade talks stall

Washington state has a long history of close trade relations with China that have benefited both sides.

Logistics in the News

AAPA urges Congress to move forward on United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement
YRC Freight and Teamsters come to terms on a tentative labor agreement
Convoy introduces automated bidding feature for carriers
IANA reports annual intermodal declines in February
AAR reports annual carload and intermodal declines for week ending March 16
More Logistics News

Logistics Resource

The Other Half of Your Net Landed Cost of Goods
In this whitepaper from Logistyx, The Other Half of your Net Landed Cost of Goods, you’ll learn how leveraging a TMS for parcel shipping can help you achieve on-time delivery in full while reducing parcel shipping costs.
All Resources
By ·

With the news of the postponement of the meeting between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping to sign an agreement to end their trade war, shippers may be able to buy a little more time to realign their supply chains. 

Any agreement that will ease tensions between the two countries, will be welcomed by the . Indeed, the group recently released a new report that details the many industries and regions in Washington state that have a major stake in the outcome. 

 In virtually every county and congressional district, Washington workers and businesses rely on China as a market for their exports and as a supplier of products and raw materials. 

The study provides county-by-county and district-by-district analysis of Washington’s trade ties with China. 

Washington state is among the largest exporting states, especially to China. Washington accounts for 5% of U.S. goods exports to the world, and 14% of U.S. exports to China. Over the past five years, Washington state overall exports have dropped slightly, but exports to China have grown by 3% (in 2017 $). Controlling for oilseeds exports, which are only consolidated in Washington state, China’s tariffs affect roughly $2.7 billion of Washington state exports in 2017. Export products included in China’s tariff list supported an estimated 28,700 jobs in Washington in 2017. 

While a few industries, such as lumber and aerospace, have been relatively isolated from U.S.-China tariffs, the overall effect on Washington trade could be damaging. Iconic and important exports like apples, cherries and seafood have all been targeted. In addition, two of the products at the center of the conflict are soybeans and autos, which pass through Washington’s ports in large amounts and support various shipping and logistics jobs. As tariffs continue, exporters lose market share and importers are forced to make suboptimal sourcing decisions. 

“From cherry growers in the Yakima Valley to cargo handlers at the Port of Olympia, hundreds of employers in Washington state are anxious to see a successful resolution to the trade negotiations with China,” said WCIT President . 

“The on-going trade dispute has presented a unique opportunity to encourage the Chinese to make much needed reforms in areas such as market access and intellectual property,” added Punke. “At the same time, high tariffs carry hefty costs for Washington consumers and businesses, so we hope an agreement is reached soon.” 

According to prominent trade analysts, however, such an agreement is still many weeks away, with further speculation that China will insist on a formal state visit rather than a simple understated trade deal signing. 

About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [ protected]

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.

Article Topics

China · Global Logistics · Logistics · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Six Steps to a Great Technology Stack
Amber Road’s new eBook, Six Steps to a Great Technology Stack, explains how your organization can leverage digital connectivity for multiple benefits.
Download Today!
From the March 2019 Logistics Management Magazine Issue
Shippers are starting to see the incredible advantage that can be gained through the strategic management of e-commerce—especially as logistics professionals move out of their silos and into the C-suite. Industry experts further contend that walls will continue to be torn down before this disruption reaches an advanced and fully evolved stage.
LM Viewpoint on E-commerce Logistics: Time to simplify
Six Warehouse Management Trends to Watch in 2019
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Strategies to Overcome the Labor Shortage and Skills Gap in Distribution
Join logistics industry expert Robert O’Dwyer and technical consultant Shawn O’Brien as they discuss how top companies are developing strategies to do more with less, and identifying technology solutions that will enable managers to overcome their skills gaps. This webinar illustrates how top companies are developing strategies to do more with less and identifying technology solutions that will enable managers to overcome their skills gaps.
Register Today!
Ember: Finding the perfect temperature
Inventor of the world’s first temperature-controlled mugs turns to a single third-party logistics...
2019 Rate Outlook: Pressure Builds
In 2019, the world economy will enter a third straight year of broad-based growth, but many...

2019 Transportation Management Systems (TMS) Market Update: Keeping pace with the times
The transportation management systems market is growing right along with the number of challenges...
The Logistics News that Shaped 2018
Every year at this time, group news editor Jeff Berman combs through the mountain of news that was...