Congressman talks trade during Issaquah stop

July 9, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 6:25 p.m. July 9, 2010

Congressman Dave Reichert emphasized trade as a prescription to revive the stalled economy during a meeting with Issaquah business leaders Friday afternoon.

Reichert, a Republican and a former King County sheriff, stopped at Blakely Hall in the Issaquah Highlands for a 90-minute discussion about how recent federal legislation affects businesses.

The congressman called on the federal government to make ports in trade-dependent Washington more attractive to businesses, because, he added after the Issaquah meeting, the state cannot afford to lose trade to ports in neighboring British Columbia.

“If our ports start to lose business, the businesses here that are supported by importing and exporting goods will begin to falter,” he said.

The fallout, he said, could impact businesses throughout the Eastside — the population center in the congressional district Reichert has represented since 2003.

President Obama appointed Reichert to the President’s Export Council in May. The group — lawmakers, federal department chiefs, and business and labor leaders — advises the president on trade issues.

Reichert offered support for a White House goal to double U.S. exports by 2015.

“His mission, which I applaud, is to double exports in the next five years,” Reichert said. “I’m going to bring some ideas on how we might be able to do that. One of those would be: We need to pass trade agreements.”

The congressman said a proposed free trade agreement between the United States and South Korea could help meet the goal. Though the Bush administration negotiated most of the pact, the proposal has been stalled since 2007.

Reichert launched a bipartisan group last month to speed up ratification.

But the congressman and Obama differ on other issues. Reichert joined other House Republicans to oppose recent health care legislation.

The highlands group raised concerns about how the sweeping law might affect businesses. The discussion included representatives from Costco — the largest employer in Issaquah — highlands developer Port Blakely Communities and small businesses.

“One of the overarching themes that I heard was, there’s too much government regulation,” Reichert said. “We need to have a little bit more freedom in operating our businesses. We need to free up our revenues, our capital to invest and reinvest into our businesses.”

The health care law, for instance, requires companies to issue additional 1099 tax forms to every person and corporation that does more than $600 in business with the company. The provision takes effect in 2012.

“It’ll create a lot more paperwork,” Reichert said.

The measure reflects a widespread unease small business owners feel about the law, he added.

“They’re worried about the taxes and the cost of health care, and the fact that they may not be able to provide health care to their employees,” Reichert said.

The highlands stop came as Reichert embarks on a bid for a fourth House term. The race has attracted eight challengers, including Democratic nominee Suzan DelBene.

Issaquah and other 8th Congressional District voters will pick the top two candidates, regardless of party affiliation, in the Aug. 17 primary election.

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce CEO Matt Bott applauded Reichert for stopping in Issaquah during a swing through the district.

“It’s really important to businesses that our elected leaders are in touch,” Bott said.

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2 Responses to “Congressman talks trade during Issaquah stop”

  1. jdrabe on July 10th, 2010 1:01 am

    Reichert was a good sheriff.

    He is completely out of his element here. He is not a trade specialist.

    He primarily represents the interests of the corporate aristocracy rather than the people who work for a living.

    Sounds to me like he wants to outsource more jobs to south korea than to protect American jobs here in the USA

    At the behest of who?

  2. gonewiththewind on July 10th, 2010 5:14 pm

    Reichert was a good detective, not Sheriff, and his only memorable event is being part of the Green River case. King County continues to vote in Sheriffs with no real management skills, they may have been good officers, but a good officer doesn’t mean you can be a good manager, Unfortunately, that’s how the county promotes people, just take a test and move up. Some are good on paper but not when it comes to dealing with budgets, helping people become better performers etc. Reichert was out of his element as a Sheriff and is also out of his element now, it’s amazing how people keep voting him into office. We need to start holding our management (leaders) more responsible – if something goes wrong they are responsible, that’s why they get paid more….yet they never get fired or written up, only the first line workers get the brunt when something goes wrong.

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