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Why Export?

Proximity to Washington State’s international trade hub

Washington State has built one of the top trade hubs in the world with 75 public deep-water ports, 139 airports, more than 7,000 miles of highways and 3,600 miles of railways.

 With our logistics networks, major sea ports, network of airports and railways, and equidistant proximity between Asia and Europe, it’s no wonder that Washington State is one of the leaders in the area of international trade.

Access to international trade experts

You don’t have to go it alone when developing a viable export plan—the Washington State Department of Commerce is here to help. Our team of Export Washington experts provides a range of technical and consulting services that can get your business ready to export quickly and efficiently – all at no charge! We offer export financing advice, technical assistance, and market access programs for Washington State small and medium-sized businesses. 

If you think your business is too small to export, think again. Nationwide, 97 percent of all exporters are small to medium-sized businesses.

Deep bench of regional support services

As the most trade dependent state in the country, Washington State is home to an established network of support services for exporters of all sizes. This network of experienced professionals includes major shipping companies, freight forwarders and logistics companies. 

Sales growth and financial stability

In today’s economy, the success of many businesses hinges on their ability to compete globally. Ninety-five percent of the world’s customers and the fastest-growing markets are outside the United States. Businesses that tap into these fast-growing markets have tremendous opportunities. Research shows that businesses that export experience faster growth, stay in business longer and successfully ride out economic downturns.

A boost for our economy

Exporting creates jobs and directly boosts both the local and national economy. In Washington State, one in three jobs is directly tied to international trade, and almost half of all new jobs created in the state over the last 30 years are export related. Washington exported $81.9 billion of goods in 2013, ranging from airplanes and software to wine, apples, and professional services. You can become one of the many Washington success stories, businesses that  have established productive and profitable export strategies.  

Connect and learn from other exporters and from experts in the field at local trade events by checking our calendar.


Fast Facts                                 


  • Washington State Department of Commerce’s no-cost international trade services helped participating Washington businesses achieve more than $214.6 million in new export sales for fiscal year 2014. 
  • Washington state is the most trade dependent state, with exports accounting for more than 30% of new jobs created in the state over the past 30 years.
  • 4% of Washington businesses export, compared to the 1% national average
  • Washington state is the largest U.S. exporter on a per capita basis. 
  • One in three jobs in Washington are tied to trade, either directly or indirectly.
  • Washington state exports reached a record high of $90.6 billion in 2014, an 11 percent increase compared to 2013 export volume of $81.6 billion.
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