SENATE BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
As of February 16, 2011
Title: An act relating to economic development through the establishment of an international contact database.
Brief Description: Concerning economic development through the establishment of an international contact database.
Sponsors: Senators Kastama, Chase and Shin.
Committee Activity: Economic Development, Trade & Innovation: 2/14/11.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, TRADE & INNOVATION
Staff: Edward Redmond (786-7471)
Background: In 1996 the Legislature authorized the Secretary of State to establish and maintain an international contact database (Database) to promote cultural exchange and international trade. The Department of Commerce (Department), in consultation with other state agencies, was directed to identify up to 15 countries that were of strategic importance to the development of Washington's international trade relations. The Secretary of State developed the Database using Access, a spreadsheet format system, which required frequent updating. The Database was operational until 2000 when the statute authorizing the Database sunsetted.
In January 2010, President Obama proposed the National Export Initiative (NEI) to double United States exports within the next five years. In June 2010, as a response to the NEI, Governor Gregoire proposed to increase Washington State exports by 30 percent within the same time frame. Currently, Washington ranks as the fourth largest exporter per capita in the U.S. with diverse export destinations that include China, Canada, Korea, the Netherlands, and Brazil.
Presently, there is an interest in the state to increase exports amongst small and medium sized businesses that have either not engaged in exporting or have only exported to a limited number of foreign countries.
Summary of Bill: The Department is authorized to develop and maintain an international contact database to be used as a resource for Washington citizens, businesses, and other entities seeking contacts in international trade markets overseas. The Department may collaborate with state executive agencies and universities to receive assistance designing and developing the database, and to obtain content for inclusion into the database. Anyone listed on the Database may request to have their personal information removed; the Department must honor such request.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Committee/Commission/Task Force Created: No.
Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.