We're pleased to welcome David Matsuda, a national transportation expert who was in Seattle last week for the Northwest Marine Trade Association's Maritime Economic Forecast breakfast. Mr. Matsuda recently served as U.S. Maritime Administrator, where he managed more than $1 billion of federal investment into U.S. ports, shipyards and shipbuilding projects. He is currently working on a policy review on the competitiveness of Washington state's maritime trade sector. We talked with him over the phone about that and other trade issues, including the new Seaport Alliance between the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, our global competition - including from our neighbor to the north, British Columbia, and the role of rail in our trade landscape.
Why does maritime trade matter? A 2013 economic impact study found that "[i]n 2012 Washington's Maritime Cluster...account[ed]for...a total impact of 148,000 Washington jobs. The direct contribution of Maritime’s $15.2 billion in gross business income generates another $14.8 billion in induced and indirect output, for a total contribution effect of $30 billion to Washington’s economy."