Ag economist says tentative labor will be a night/day difference

An ag economist says the tentative labor deal for West Coast ports will make a night and day difference for exports of U.S. ag products.  West Coast ports play a vital role in the supply chain for exports of ag goods to Asian customers.

University of Missouri’s Scott Brown the work stoppages at Los Angeles and Long Beach during the contract negotiations created uncertainty for foreign buyers. “Having those ports, perhaps, working more efficiency should help the margin of product getting out of the United States.”

He tells Brownfield that’s especially true for pork. “Where we’re talking about more competitive prices, we have an opportunity to see more growth as those ports become more efficient.”

The Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union struck a tentative deal Wednesday evening after 13 months of labor talks.  The deal is expected to produce a six-year labor contract, but still needs to be ratified by both sides. 

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