Tariff Delay May Mean Relief for U.S. West Coast Ports

cosco shipping at port of long beach
Photo credit: Port of Long Beach

By Alexander Whiteman (The Loadstar) – West coast US ports suffered last month, but there may be some relief with the news that the US government is rethinking plans for further tariffs in September.

The port of Long Beach experienced a 9.7% volume drop in July, handling 621,780 teu, and executive director Mario Cordero pointed the finger of blame in just one direction.

“The [US-China] trade war is hitting the west coast hard… for more than a year, the supply chain has bent under the weight, and there’s very little give left,” he said.

“If tariffs continue, and escalate as planned next month, American consumers could see higher prices during the holiday season as businesses pass on their costs.”

Imports suffered the most at the port, dropping 9.9% to 313,350 teu, with exports down 6.8% to 111,654 teu, while empties fell 11% to 197,777 teu.

However, yesterday the US government announced it would delay the imposition of further 10% tariffs, because of “health, safety, national security and other factors”.

Products that would have been affected included clothing, computer monitors, footwear, laptops, mobile phones, toys and video games consoles.

But the US president said the tariff would now be delayed until 15 December “to avoid hitting US customers with higher prices at Christmas”.

According to reports, the news has been welcomed by technology investors, with retail and industrial shares rising on the back of the news.

It seems, however, that the US president will expect some reciprocity from the Chinese, tweeting shortly after the announcement: “As usual, China said they were going to be buying ‘big’ from our great American farmers. So far, they have not done what they said. Maybe this will be different!”

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