SEATTLE - With all the talk about economic sanctions potentially taken against Russia over the crisis in Ukraine, just what does Washington state have at stake?
Russia is Washington's 14th largest trading partner, having done a $1,523,734,041 worth of business with Washington in 2013. That puts it behind Germany at number 12, Saudi Arabia at 13 but ahead of Australia and the Philippines.
Boeing has the largest involvement, having sold or arranged leases for more than 300 jetliners ranging from 737s to new, large 747-8 freighters. Boeing reacted quickly to the collapse of the Soviet Union in December of 1991, and by August of 1992 had signed a deal to put former Soviet aircraft engineers to work helping design airplanes.
Today, the Boeing Design Center in Moscow continues to grow, and just recently opened a new design center operating out of Kiev, Ukraine. Boeing also has joint deals with Russian companies mining and processing titanium, a metal valued in aerospace for its steel like strength without the weight. A Boeing spokesman today says the company is watching the situation.
But Boeing is not alone. The northwest fishing industry has had a relationship with Russia since Soviet times. Starbucks has coffee stores in Russia, Microsoft has a relationship as well. There was enough business in the years following the Soviet breakup, to warrant Seattle becoming home to a Russian Consulate in the 1990s.