The Washington public ports association is authorized to create a federation of Washington ports to enable member ports to strengthen their international trading capabilities and market the region's products worldwide. Such a federation shall maintain the authority of individual ports and have the following purposes:
(1) To operate as an export trading company under the provisions enumerated in chapter 53.31
(2) To provide a network to market the services of the members of the Washington public ports association;
(3) To provide expertise and assistance to businesses interested in export markets;
(4) To promote cooperative efforts between ports and local associate development organizations to assist local economic development efforts and build local capacity; and
(5) To assist in the efficient marketing of the state's trade, tourism, and travel resources.
Findings—1989 c 425: "The legislature finds: (1) That the continuous development of Washington's ports should be a long-term goal for the state of Washington; (2) that Washington's ports are a valuable economic development resource, whose strength as a combined, coordinated entity for the purpose of trade and tourism development would far exceed their individual strength's in those areas; and (3) that, therefore, the ports should work together as a federation, coordinating their efforts further still with other public entities as well as the private sector.
The legislature concurs with the 1989 report of the economic development board on a long-term economic development strategy for Washington state as follows: (a) Competition for tourism dollars, as well as dollars to purchase Washington's goods and services, is global in nature and to compete, the state must identify its unique market niches, and market its trade, travel, and tourism assets aggressively; (b) the ports of the state of Washington are an integral part of the technological and physical infrastructure needed to help the state compete in the international marketplace; and (c) links among public agencies, associate development organizations, including ports, universities, and industry-oriented organizations must be strengthened in an effort to improve coordination, prevent duplication, and build local capacity." [ 1989 c 425 § 1