King of Spain receives our delegation at Mobile World Congress

By Robert Fiddick, Commerce International Trade Team The highlight of Day One for the Choose Washington trade show delegation at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain was the chance to greet King Felipe VI. The invitation reflects the strong relationship between Spain and Washington State.  We were the first delegation to meet with the king at the show. James Costos, the U.S. Ambassador to Spain, visited our exhibit in the

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Honest, thoughtful analysis of trade policy impact needed when approaching changes to NAFTA

Director Bonlender delivered these remarks on Feb. 20, 2018 at an event hosted by the Consular Association of Washington. First, I’d like to thank Petra Walker for inviting me to this event this afternoon and the Consular Association of Washington for hosting this important conversation. I also appreciate that Consul General Dondisch representing Mexico and Consul General Brandon Lee representing Canada have taken the time to be here this evening.

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National study shows local gains, but still insufficient affordable housing construction

February 20, 2018

A 2017 study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition that looked at affordable housing in the 50 largest metro areas in the country showed Seattle has 29 units of affordable housing for every 100 households with extremely low income. While we are building more than other regions of the country, Puget Sound population growth still outpaces the rate of construction. Willingness to explore new housing ideas and build homes more quickly is

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State logs robust 4.3% GDP growth for the third quarter

Washington’s state GDP increased 4.3 percent in the third quarter of 2017, the most recent reported by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). That’s fourth best nationwide, behind only Delaware (5.7), Texas (5.0) and New Hampshire (4.4). Once again, the information sector far outpaced other sectors, contributing 1.29 of Washington’s percentage point change. Other strong sectors were retail trade at .61 percent and finance and insurance at .50 percent. Durable

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How competitive is Washington state?

Top aerospace industry analyst Richard Aboulafia was interviewed by Seattle Times reporter Dominic Gates on the first day of the 2018 Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance conference. Governor Inslee’s Choose Washington NMA Council recently announced hiring Aboulafia and Teal Group to produce a an independent competitive analysis addressing in detail the state’s benefits and challenges to win design, manufacture and assembly of the Boeing Company’s proposed new middle-of-the-market airplane, sometimes referred

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Energy News Roundup

Local and regional: Several weeks ago, Gov. Inslee announced details of his much awaited carbon tax proposal. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Carlyle and Rep. Fitzgibbon. A substitute version of the bill was released the first week in February. The initial tax bill imposes a $20 tax per ton of carbon dioxide on fossil fuels, including those that generate electricity, beginning in 2019. The substitute bill carbon tax begins

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Clean Energy Fund 3 Program in the 2017-2018 Capital Budget

On Jan. 19, 2018, Gov. Jay Inslee signed the capital budget bill. This includes funding for the Clean Energy Funds 3 (CEF3) program. This program started in 2013 and was funded a second time in 2016. Clean Energy Fund grants enable a mix of projects. They support the development, demonstration and deployment of clean energy technologies. The projects save energy, reduce energy costs, reduce harmful air emissions and increase the

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Matchmaker Program Gets Funding

The legislature’s recent appropriation of $10 million in Matchmaker funds comes at a critical time.  After a funding delay of six months, many local agencies that provide weatherization services have had to cut the number of homes served, have experienced delays in receiving matching utility funds, and were in danger of losing staff and contractors.  Weatherization is a technical craft that requires time and resources to train staff and contractors.

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Emission Performance Standards Rulemaking

Emissions Performance Standards (EPS) are state imposed rules to a limit the amount of carbon dioxide that each power station may emit into the atmosphere. We have been working with the Department of Ecology, Energy Facility Siting Evaluation Council and other stakeholders to develop the Emissions Performance Standards survey. We currently have a solid draft survey and number. We will be moving on to the CR102 process soon. Every five

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