Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Consular Association Meeting
December 10, 2004
I want to start by thanking all of you and the countries you represent for your great support and assistance the past eight years.
I want to especially recognize Ron Masnik, the president of your Association, and Consul General Kim, the Dean of the Consular Corps.
I thank the Association for everything you do to promote greater understanding of global affairs. It is a critical time for us to do everything possible to develop our appreciation for the different cultures and perspectives present around the world.
If I seem a little tired today, I’m sure you’ll understand. As you know, our third child, Madeline, was born last month. Mona, Emily, Dylan and I are all very excited about our new addition, but it has resulted in some long nights for all of us!
Mona and I have been very honored to serve the great state of Washington the last eight years. The time has flown by in some ways—and at other times it’s as if we’ve always done this.
One of the most rewarding aspects of my job has been building our state’s trade relationships all over the world. We have worked hard to open markets in places like Asia, Europe and Latin America. You and your offices have been wonderfully supportive of our trade missions, helping us meet with your top government and business officials.
Our trade with other nations benefits millions of people, both here and abroad. Our state is known for such global companies as Boeing, Microsoft and Starbucks and Weyerhaeuser. We have great research institutions like the University of Washington, which was the number one recipient of federal research money among public universities.
We also have many other great companies and universities in Washington state. And other nations have enormous needs—from feeding its people to environmental cleanup to medical equipment to energy production, and technology to education. Washington state businesses and colleges and universities can help meet those needs. Just as so much of what we use every day – from clothing, appliances, technology and food – is produced in other countries.
We’ve seen that to build strong trade partnerships, there is no substitute for in-person visits and meetings with our partners, face-to-face. The benefits of our trade partnerships are a direct result of the investments we’re willing to make. Investments of time and effort and genuine interest in other countries. Healthy trade requires focus on relationships, not just transactions.
This is about more than economics. Strong trade partnerships lead to strong economic alliances—and ultimately political alliances. It is in America’s best interests – first and foremost politically and secondarily economically - to continue to nurture our trade relationship, cultural ties and political alignments with your countries. This is about more than dollars—it’s about the strong global partnerships needed to halt the proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction; to protect against terrorism; to respond against famine and ethnic wars – in short, to promote world peace, security and international cooperation.
It is only through cooperation and mutual understanding that we will improve our economic and political standing in the global community.
We deeply value our relationships with our partners in the global community. We hope those will only grow stronger in the years ahead.
Thank you again for your great cooperation and support. Keep up the great work!
Now, I would like to recognize one of your members who is completing his tour of duty in Washington State, Jack Chiang, Director General of the Taipei Economic & Cultural Office.
Jack, in recognition of your hard work and great accomplishments over the past three years representing Taiwan, I present you with this certificate of Honorary Citizenship. Congratulations and best wishes to you and your family on your upcoming return to Taipei.