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Economist says claims of damages to agriculture exports are 'way overblown'

In a Journal of Commerce article called ”Debate erupts over damage to ag exports from the West Coast labor standoff”:

There is no question that exports are being hurt due to port delays stemming from the months-long, acrimonious and still-unresolved negotiations between West Coast dockworkers and management. The media have been filled since late last year of stories of lost sales of everything from apples to Christmas trees. But the precise impact is subject to heated debate.

[T]here is controversy over other data, as a California-based economist claims that estimates of a massive drop-off in exports through West Coast ports last fall published by a trade group are way overblown. The Agriculture Transportation Coalition, a Washington, D.C., trade group, said containerized agricultural exports through West Coast ports dropped 40 percent in September, 42 percent in October and 50 percent in November, versus the prior-year months.

Jock O’Connell, an international trade economist affiliated with Beacon Economics in Los Angeles, said … “Census Bureau export statistics do not in the least paint the same calamitous picture AgTC is sketching.”

Read the rest at the JOC

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