Trade War Impacts Weigh on America’s Busiest Port

 Throughput volumes at the United States’ busiest container port, the Port of Los Angeles, declined as predicted in November as the U.S.-China Trade War continues to impact American imports and exports.

The Port of Los Angeles reported Tuesday it moved 728,918 TEUs in November, representing a decrease of 12.4 percent compared to last year.

After 11 months of 2019, however, total volumes at Los Angeles have increased .4 percent compared to 2018, which was the busiest year on record.

November imports decreased 12.2 percent to 371,350 TEUs compared to last year. Meanwhile, exports declined by 9.2 percent to 138,545 TEUs, marking the thirteenth consecutive month of declining exports. Empty containers also declined 14.8% to 219,024 TEUs.

“As we expected, 2019 winds down with volumes weakening, due largely to the U.S.-China trade war which continues to negatively impact American consumers, manufacturers and U.S. supply chain jobs,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “Although we anticipate tariffs will linger well into 2020, we will continue to aggressively invest in our physical and digital infrastructure through this economic cycle.”

November’s declining volumes followed a similar pattern seen in October when the Port of Los Angeles moved more than 19 percent less containers than it did during 2018’s record-breaking October when shippers were racing to beat expected tariffs.

The Port of Los Angeles in September was one of six major ports on the U.S. West Coast to call on President Trump to settle the U.S.-China Trade War, warning that failure to do so will cause irreversible economic harm to employers, workers and U.S. residents. 

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