While in Seattle, WA this week, Ambassador Kirk visited two of Washington state’s biggest exporters – who also employ hundreds of thousands of Americans right here at home.
Ambassador Kirk toured a Boeing plant in Renton, WA, where workers assemble 737s for use by airlines all over the world. Boeing is a leading U.S. exporter, accounting for 35 percent of total U.S. exports of aerospace products and services in 2009 – and Boeing employs 151,000 people here in the United States. Officials say that more than 1 million American workers contribute to the company’s supply chain.
Ambassador Kirk also met with executives of Microsoft in Redmond, WA, including CEO Steve Ballmer. Their discussion centered around the importance of protecting American intellectual property around the world to ensure that jobs are not lost here at home due to piracy and IP theft abroad, and on potential trade barriers that may arise as technology develops in the coming decades. USTR is charged with ensuring that American companies and workers have a level playing field on which to compete in providing goods and services – from airplanes to software to new technologies that may be invented in the future.
Ambassador Kirk and Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft Corporation