December 4 - 14, 2013 ; Washington, DC; Silicon Valley, California; and Seattle, Washington
Contact: Washington Foreign Press Center media relations officers: Stephanie Kuck - 202-504 - 6354, email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Michael Chadwick - 202-504-6370, email: email@example.com
The Washington Foreign Press Center hosted twelve journalists from ten countries across the East Asia and Pacific region for a ten-day multi-city tour to explore how the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other trade agreements can promote increased economic integration, trade, and innovation in the region. After receiving a foundation in trade policy through briefings at State, USTR, Capitol Hill, the IMF, and leading think-tanks, the group moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and then on to Seattle where they engaged with a range of actors, including major multinationals, tech start-ups, family-owned agricultural producers, academics, air and sea shipping services providers, business support organizations and venture capitalists, to see how two of the U.S.’s most vibrant Pacific-focused regional economies stand to benefit from the expansion of free trade. By highlighting the already significant volume of trade across and within the region, the tour emphasized the benefits that could accrue to companies, governments, and consumers if economies in the area were to join in a well-designed and well-regulated free market structure. The participants also learned about factors that make both Silicon Valley and Seattle economic growth engines and global leaders in new business ventures, including a supportive regulatory environment, strong local expertise and capital sources for new business development, powerful research centers producing both ideas and skilled labor, a critical mass of vital support services, and an energetic risk-taking culture that appeals to entrepreneurs.