Promoting International Trade

Staying competitive in a global economy

International trade is a vital component of the Oregon and SW Washington economy. Our location along the Pacific Rim offers efficient transport of goods via air, water, rail, and roadway to national and international markets.

In Oregon alone, international trade supports one-in-five jobs, which are located in every corner of the state. Trade-related jobs pay an average of 11% higher wages than non-trade related jobs, contributing to the state’s tax base. A growing selection of direct international flights is helping connect our businesses to the world and attract tourists to our region.

Global trade is so much a part of our DNA that Oregon and Washington are among only 12 states in the nation with a trade surplus. For these reasons, and more, the Pacific Northwest International Trade Association (PNITA) focuses on promoting trade-friendly policies and programs through advocacy, education, and collective impact.

PNITA Priorities

1. Creating stable and transparent relationships with trading partners

  • Support negotiation of new multilateral, regional, and bilateral trade agreements in expanding access to our products and services abroad, while creating more jobs in Oregon and SW Washington. More specifically in these negotiations would be agreements with China, Japan, the European Union, Vietnam, and the U.K.
  • Advocate for strong U.S. led efforts for reinvigorating the World Trade Organization (WTO), including thoughtful reform of Dispute Settlement and Appellate Body procedures.
  • Support initiatives in Congress for providing increased executive branch oversight related to its ability to impose tariffs.
  • Advocate for a decrease in non-tariff related trade barriers for expanding access to Oregon-made products abroad, while lowering prices for consumers stateside.

2. Investing in infrastructure to keep commerce moving

  • Secure funding for replacement of the I-5 Bridge to support interstate and regional commerce.
    Advocate for the reauthorization of a comprehensive surface transportation package to improve road, highway, and rail infrastructure.
  • Advocate for the reauthorization of a robust national infrastructure package that includes investment for port and airport infrastructure, and funding for climate and seismic resiliency upgrades to critical infrastructure.
  • Advocate for an increase to the federal gas tax to help replenish the Highway Trust Fund.
  • Maintain and improve maritime transportation including, but not limited to: increased funding for the rehabilitation of the Columbia River jetties; maintenance dredging on the Willamette and Columbia rivers; funding for critical levee improvements; and maintaining the lock system upstream.

3. Fostering a healthy trade environment in Oregon and SW Washington

  • Support federal initiatives to prompt access to Career Technical Education (CTE) and Trade Adjustment Assistance Program for workers and employers.
  • Support state initiatives to prompt and expand access to CTE, such as the CTE Revitalization Grants.
  • Support continued funding for federal trade promotion programs including those of the U.S. Department of Commerce (U.S. Commercial Service), U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), as well as the trade finance programs of SBA.
  • Expand access to foreign workers who are essential to regional industry workforce needs, including expanded access for H-1B visas for skilled workers, H-2B visas for temporary non agricultural workers, and H-2A visas for seasonal workers supporting the agricultural industry.
  • Support thoughtful review and reform of U.S. visa and immigration regulations to maximize opportunities for foreign students to pursue education in the United States.
Worker processing goods for export

Certificates of Origin

Portland Metro Chamber issues Certificates of Origin (COO) for goods manufactured within the United States. Many foreign countries or importers require this for certain commodities; customs offices use this document to determine whether or not a preferential duty rate applies on the products being imported.

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Want to learn more about PNITA?

Chamber member organizations wishing to engage further with international trade efforts—please reach out to the PNITA team.

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