Stash Tea, Sokol Blosser, Egg Press and other small companies to join Obama event at Nike




Stash Tea, Sokol Blosser Winery and Egg Press are among the Portland-area companies that will be helping President Obama sell the Trans-Pacific Partnership when he visits Nike on Friday.

The three companies are featured in a news release the White House issued Thursday afternoon. Earlier this week, the White House said the president would mention Tillamook Dairy Co-Op and Chris King Precision Components, a Portland-based bicycle components manufacturer, as beneficiaries if Congress approves the TPP.

President Obama is expected to tour part of the Nike headquarters Friday morning before delivering a speech and then discussing how TPP would benefit large and small companies.

The White House says in the news release that TPP would be the first trade agreement to include a chapter on small businesses meant to make it easier for companies like Egg Press, which has 20 employees, to reach customers overseas. In recent years, Egg Press has seen an emerging market in two of the dozen TPP countries: Japan and Australia.

In the news release, Egg Press chief executive Tess Darrow calls the TPP “a new frontier,” adding that the letterpress greeting card company could markedly increase its sales in Japan under the agreement.

Stash president Tom Lisicki says in the release that the TPP, or trade agreements in general, “could definitely make it a lot easier for us.”

The release says TPP would benefit Sokol Blosser and other wineries because it would help remove tariffs for U.S. wineries selling overseas, which currently hover around 55 percent.

Other companies expected to be represented Friday at Nike include:

  • Leatherman Tool Group: Founder Tim Leatherman and company president Ben Rivera will be on hand. The Oregon homegrown company based east of Portland International Airport served as host for a visit recently by U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker. Pritzker toured the factory after briefing about 30 representatives of Portland-area business about trade issues, including TPP and then meeting with two reporters and an editorial writer for The Oregonian/OregonLive.
  • Straw Propeller Gourmet Foods: Chief executive Patricia Bartelson will attend the summit and speak about the benefits of free trade, the Redmond company says in a news release. “Despite the controversy, Straw Propeller is backing the Trans Pacific Partnership because the TPP will expand economic opportunity for small businesses,” vice president of sales Julie Leutschaft says in the release. “Straw Propeller is already selling products into eight different countries and believes the TPP will boost U.S. economic growth, support American jobs, and grow Made-in-America exports to some of the most dynamic and fastest growing countries in the world.”
  • Mudshark Studios / Eutectic Gallery / Portland Growler Company: Portland entrepreneurs Brett Binford and Chris Lyon have been business partners for nine years, starting Mudshark Studios in their basement. The company has since grown into a 20,000-square-foot Northeast Portland building that houses their ceramic production business, an all ceramic art gallery known for hosting local and international artists, Portland Growler and a new business they are launching next month.
  • Walnut Studiolo: Valerie Schafer Franklin, co-owner of the studio that got its start crafting wood and leather items for bicycles but has since branched into other items, will attend.
  • Oregon Jobs Through Trade, an organization formed to helped boost the case for TPP, said Thursday that the White House had not yet confirmed which four or five coalition members would be invited to participate in the Nike visit. Companies featured at the organization’s website include Columbia Sportswear; LaCrosse Footwear and its subsidiary Danner boots; Bend-based Ruffwear, maker of dog gear; Country Natural Beef; and SolarWorld.




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