With thousands of jobs and billions of dollars on the line for Washington state, lawmakers representing the 13th District say the time for the president to act is now.
The three lawmakers signed a letter to President Obama this week, asking him to intervene in the West Coast port labor dispute. In the letter, Rep. Tom Dent, R-Moses Lake, Rep. Matt Manweller, R-Ellensburg and Sen. Judy Warnick, R-Moses Lake, cite the “devastating effect” the slowdown is having on Washington state employers, employees and the state’s economic stability.
The slowdown is currently costing U.S. agriculture millions of dollars, as representatives from the Pacific Maritime Association and International Longshore and Warehouse Union have not come to an agreement on a new contract for dockworkers.
“If a resolution is not reached quickly, not only will the national economy suffer, [but] our state’s operating budget could be well short of the tax collections expected from our trade and manufacturing sectors,” wrote the lawmakers.
Washington is the most trade-dependent state in the nation, and exports $15.1 billion annually in food and agriculture products through Puget Sound ports.
“We need immediate action if we are to salvage what remains of our market share for trade around the globe and to ensure our manufacturers can continue to produce high-demand products.”
To read the lawmakers’ complete letter, click here.