Suc­cess linked to China, says port CEO

China Daily - - BUSINESS - By LINDA DENG in Seat­tle lin­dadeng@chi­nadai­

China is a cru­cial part of the busi­ness of ma­jor ports in Wash­ing­ton state, a trans­porta­tion ex­ec­u­tive told a House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives panel at a hear­ing on the im­pact of tar­iffs.

“Our suc­cess as an air­port and sea­port gate­way is in­ex­tri­ca­bly linked to China. Last year, more than $27 bil­lion in im­ports from China came through Seat­tle and Ta­coma cargo ter­mi­nals, with an ad­di­tional $1.1 bil­lion in im­ports from China via Sea-Tac,” John Wolfe, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of the North­west Sea­port Al­liance, told the House Ways and Means Com­mit­tee in Wash­ing­ton last Thurs­day.

The North­west Sea­port Al­liance is a marine cargo op­er­at­ing part­ner­ship of the ports of Ta­coma and Seat­tle and the fourth-largest con­tainer port com­plex in the United States.

Sea-Tac is the Seat­tle-Ta­coma In­ter­na­tional Air­port.

“In ad­di­tion, al­most $5 bil­lion in ex­ports to China trav­eled through our cargo ter­mi­nals in 2017, plus an­other $2.2 bil­lion in ex­ports to China through Sea-Tac,” Wolfe said.

He said that “while it is im­pos­si­ble to truly es­ti­mate the im­pact of these tar­iffs, roughly $8 bil­lion in twoway trade through our air­port and sea­port will po­ten­tially face some level of in­creased tar­iff”.

The Amer­i­can As­so­ci­a­tion of Port Au­thor­i­ties es­ti­mates that for ev­ery $1 bil­lion in ex­ports shipped through US sea­ports, 15,000 jobs are cre­ated, and the con­verse is likely true as well, which means that this $8 bil­lion in trade likely rep­re­sents 120,000 jobs, he said.

“The risk is sig­nif­i­cant be­cause thou­sands of our jobs are tied to trade,” Wolfe told China Daily on Mon­day. “Our marine cargo op­er­a­tions in our Seat­tle and Ta­coma har­bors sup­port more than 48,000 jobs, while Sea-Tac’s air cargo op­er­a­tions help cre­ate over 5,200 jobs.”

Also, more than 60 per­cent of goods im­ported through the NWSA are sent be­yond the North­west re­gion.

“Our great­est con­cern is that we are go­ing to po­ten­tially af­fect jobs as­so­ci­ated with trade in the state of Wash­ing­ton, and it is not only in our state. We would also risk im­pact … through the whole sup­ply chain in the Up­per Mid­west,” Wolfe said.

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