A new report by the Portland Business Alliance studied our state’s dependence on international trade and investment, finding that nearly 490,000 jobs are directly and indirectly tied to this industry.  With such a large portion of our economy resting on the viability of the trade and export industry, our state must continue to find new ways diversify and expand export opportunities.

A few highlights of the study include:

  • Over 78,500 Oregon jobs are a direct result of our trade and export industry.
  •  The majority of Oregon exporters are small businesses.
  • Increased exports keep export costs low for regional farmers, like myself. This allows a greater amount of Oregon products to reach growing international markets.
  • Bulk commodity trade results in nearly half of direct jobs linked to port activity

As a farmer, I found the report’s findings on bulk commodity exports of particular interest.  According to the report, bulk commodity exports, such as wheat and copper, account for nearly half of the exports out of the Portland/Vancouver ports. Large investments in these types of facilities have an ability to benefit other bulk commodity exporters.

Reports, like these, only reinforce the importance of investments in our ports. These types of investments create a domino effect, helping the entire trade and exporters. It’s time we move forward with the authorization of proposed export expansions.