It is declared to be the public policy of the state to promote and preserve the economic well-being of the citizens of this state by creating opportunities for expanded participation in international trade by state businesses and expanding international trade through state ports. Increased international trade of state products creates and retains jobs, increases the state's tax base, and diversifies the state's economy. Port districts, through economies of scale, are uniquely situated to promote and expand international trade and provide greater opportunities for state businesses to participate in international trade.
The legislature finds that significant public benefit, in the form of increased employment and tax revenues, can be realized through export trading companies without lending the credit of port districts, and without capital investment of public funds by port districts. The legislature finds that the use of port district funds to promote and establish export trading companies under this chapter constitutes trade promotion and industrial development within the meaning of Article VIII, section 8 of the state Constitution.
It is the purpose of this chapter: (1) To stimulate greater participation by private businesses in international trade; (2) to authorize port districts to promote and facilitate international trade more actively; (3) to make export services more widely available; (4) to generate revenue for port districts; and (5) to develop markets for Washington state goods and services. Port sponsored export trading companies can also assist small to medium-sized companies in achieving economies of scale in order to expand into the export market.
It is the intent of this chapter to enhance export trade and not to create outside competition for existing Washington state businesses. The primary intent of a port sponsored export trading company is to increase exports of Washington state products.
This chapter shall not be construed as modifying or restricting any other powers granted to port districts by law. The legislature does not intend by the enactment of this chapter for port districts to use export trading companies to create unfair competition with private business.