Oakland Chief Warns of Trade War Turmoil


The ongoing trade conflict with China could pose a serious threat to the US economy, according to the Port of Oakland’s executive director Chris Lytle.

Expressed in a letter to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Lytle’s concerns follow similar comments last week from Port of Los Angeles executive director Gene Seroka, as reported by PTI.

While import volumes have experienced record levels of growth, creating chaos for the Californian supply chain, exports were down across both Los Angeles and Long Beach for the seventh straight month in May.

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Lytle, who added that trade barriers could dry up his customers’ access to a major export market, said: “We remain concerned about the impact that tariffs will have on the health of our economy.

“To the extent that other countries are stepping in to provide goods that are exported by U.S. businesses to China, the long-term potential for domestic companies to access one of the world’s largest consumer markets will be severely hindered.”

President Trump is currently pondering additional tariffs on Chinese goods, prompting a call from 600 business leaders to resolve the dispute and eliminate duties impacting both nations.



According to a statement, China accounts for more than a third of Oakland’s total trade volume, including large quantities of US farm exports.

In addition to this, the port is currently awaiting a delivery of three new ship-to-shore cranes from Shanghai-based manufacturer ZPMC, scheduled for 2020.

Lytle commented further: “The Port of Oakland continues to hear from our partners in the supply chain about specific impacts to their unique sectors.

“It’s clear that the overall negative long-term potential impacts of these tariffs on the international movement of agricultural products, manufactured goods, household items and retail products is real.”

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