On behalf of the American people, the State Department promotes and demonstrates democratic values and advances a free, peaceful, and prosperous world. By leading America’s foreign policy through diplomacy, advocacy, and assistance, the Department keeps the American people safe both at home and abroad and advances our shared economic prosperity. The State Department directly impacts the “Evergreen State” of Washington through environmental protection and defense cooperation.
In the environmental arena, Washington, along with its neighbors, has had a long-standing interest in Pacific salmon and Pacific halibut populations and their economic, social, cultural, and ecological significance. To address those concerns, the Pacific Salmon Treaty, signed between the United States and Canada in 1985, established long-term goals for the management of salmon resources by our countries. The Treaty includes agreement between the United States and Canada to form and maintain the Pacific Salmon Commission to meet Treaty objectives. Similarly, Pacific halibut are vital to the economic well-being of coastal communities and have been managed by a bilateral treaty with Canada since 1923. The Pacific Halibut Commission, established by the treaty, provides scientific and management advice that has maintained a stable fishery and worked to prevent stock and environmental problems. The State Department’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES) is involved in the work of these Commissions, along with state and tribal Commissioners. In this capacity, the State Department plays an active role in negotiating with Canadian colleagues for outcomes that balance harvest opportunities with the long-term sustainability of Pacific salmon and halibut stocks. This work ultimately has a positive impact on Washington and its residents.
Secondly, the State Department positively impacts Washington on environmental issues through the EcoPartnerships program. EcoPartnerships between the United States and China harness the energy and ingenuity in both countries to conduct innovative projects. There are 38 current and graduated EcoPartnerships involving approximately 15 provinces and municipalities in China and 20 states in the U.S., including in Washington. Boeing Co. has worked with a Chinese partner to develop low cost processing technologies to convert biomass and waste oils, including gutter oil, into sustainable aviation biofuels and increase the operational efficiency of air traffic management.
Finally, the State Department’s Bureau of Political Military Affairs has a positive impact on Washington, as well. The State Department facilitates the Washington National Guard’s State Partnership Program (SPP) with Thailand, founded in 2002, and with Malaysia, founded in 2017. The State Partnership Program links a state’s National Guard with the armed forces or equivalent of a partner country in a cooperative, mutually beneficial relationship. Through these SPP’s, the Washington National Guard conducts military-to-military engagements such as training, exercises, and exchanges in support of defense security goals. The SPP has become a key U.S. security cooperation tool, facilitating collaboration across all aspects of international civil-military affairs and encouraging people-to-people ties at the state level.
From Seattle to Walla Walla, the State Department benefits Washingtonians through environmental protection and defense cooperation programs. And Washingtonians, in turn, bring about positive benefits for others around the world.
Find out more about the Department of State’s impact in American communities at Department of State by State.