Export Assistance

Export assistance creates new market opportunities and partnerships. Washington State is one of the country’s major export hubs, exporting more than $60 billion in goods annually. The Department of Commerce offers businesses an experienced trade team that provides a range of support services, including advocacy, consulting, risk mitigation, market research, trade missions and trade show support, business matchmaking and custom programs, all designed to help Washington companies open doors to trade overseas and increase sales.

The export assistance team within Commerce’s Office of Economic Development and Competitiveness has helped businesses statewide expand into trade or increase their exports and sales overseas. Over the last four years, the OEDC has assisted 5,296 small businesses, generating an additional $705.5 million in additional sales to international customers.

Our services include:

  • Advocacy: If you run into any roadblocks with your exports, our trade experts can help you convey the importance of exporting and international trade and help you overcome any obstacles along the way, such as problems with shipping documentation, customs, logistics, visas, etc.
  • Consulting: We can help you create an exporting plan, clarify international trade law issues, find an interpreter, and introduce you to foreign representatives and buyers to generate new international sales.
  • Export Voucher ProgramQualifying companies who are new to exports or entering new markets can get up to $10,000 to offset expenses.  Funded in part by the SBA’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), the vouchers can be used to defray trade show or trade mission fees, airfare, interpreter and translation services, export training programs and more. See the STEP flyer (PDF) for details.
  • Risk Mitigation: Entering a new market, even for an experienced exporter, can be complex. Our Export Finance Assistance Center can help you research your trading partners and customers to ensure they are credit worthy and sort out currency exchange and payment terms and issues.
  • Market Research: Want to expand into a new market with exports but not sure whether it makes sense or not? We can help you analyze markets so that you can develop and execute your exports plan with complete confidence.
  • Trade Missions & Trade Shows: Participating in state-sponsored trade missions and trade shows can open doors that could never be opened if you went it alone. Our export assistance team will help you identify the right opportunities for your business and work with you to ensure that your participation is aligned with your business goals.
  • Financing: Our team can assist you identifying financing options and connect you with potential state, federal and private resources.
  • Business Matchmaking: No need to spend endless hours and fruitless phone calls trying to reach the right person for your exports. Our trade experts conduct numerous business matchmaking opportunities, whether as part of a state trade mission or trade show, pre-requested buyer introduction, or an inbound visit by a foreign trade delegation or organization.

Want to Intern With Us?

We are always looking for students who want to do an unpaid internship with us to get valuable ‘real world’ skills in trade, business development, marketing and economic development.

If you’re interested in applying, visit the internship application page for more information.

Additional Resources


Joanna Boatwright, Aerospace International Trade Specialist
Email: Joanna.Boatwright@Commerce.wa.gov
Phone: 206-256-3136

Karl Dahlgren, Life Science/Global Health International Trade Specialist
Email: Karl.Dahlgren@Commerce.wa.gov
Phone: 206-256-6132

Tammy Deets, Clean Technology, Advanced Manufacturing & Maritime International Trade Specialist
Email: Tammy.Deets@Commerce.wa.gov
Phone: 206-256-6154

Julie Monahan, Information & Communication Technology International Trade Specialist
Email:  Julie.Monahan@Commerce.wa.gov
Phone: 206-256-6147

Nicole Gunkle, Consumer Goods and Professional Services International Trade Specialist
Email: Nicole.Gunkle@Commerce.wa.gov
Phone: 206-256-6131