Government Assisted Washington Ag Export Sales Post High Scores

Goal exceeded by 65 percent.

Published on: Dec 7, 2012

Washington state reports strong fiscal year 2012 sales of $198 million from state export assistance from the state departments of  agriculture and commerce.

Programs for state producers at Commerce and Agriculture provide small and medium funding with export training and counseling, facilitate international trade show and trade mission participation, and assist with trading partner and market introductions.

Clients using the Washington State Department of Agriculture export assistance program this fiscal year 2012 saw sales soar to $120 million, up more than $25 million from 2011. Business reported $78.2 million in Commerce-assisted sales for FY 2012, well above their Washington Export Initiative 2012  target of $60 million. The combined agency figures represent 1,257 jobs.

Exports of Washington farm products are increasing with the help of state government programs which encourage sales abroad.
Exports of Washington farm products are increasing with the help of state government programs which encourage sales abroad.

Since the export program began, 1,038 new-to-export companies have been assisted by the WSDA and the Community Economic Revitalization export training programs.

Today, more than 8,400 Washington companies export, well on the way to meeting the program goal of 10,500 by 2015.

"With one in three Washington jobs relying on trade, we must stay focused on our strengths  and opportunities in the international marketplace,"  says Gov. Chris Gregoire. "Our recent mission to India and Korea is a high-profile example of our ongoing effort to expand the economic benefits of trade.

"We are also pursuing a year-round strategy to grow jobs in Washington through exports and attracting  foreign direct investment.

"The Washington Export Initiative is working and we must continue this effort to support economic development in communities across the state."

Commerce Director Rogers Weed agrees noting that "We've seen that many companies growing through the recession are those that access global markets. This is especially true in our traditionally strong sectors of agriculture, aviation and aerospace, software and global health-life sciences."

WSDA's export program continues to pay for itself, with $4.83 in additional tax revenues due to economic development for every taxpayer dollar invested in the program. WSDA says it is on track with its goal, announced in 2010, of assisting an additional 1,000 exporters in reaching $300 million in export sales by 2015.