Manufacturers are encouraged that Members of Congress continue to weigh-in and urge a “swift resolution between the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU)” as the two parties continue to negotiate a new labor contract under contentious circumstances.
Today’s bipartisan press conference sheds further light on the impacts different sectors of the economy experience as each day passes without a new labor agreement and West Coast port productivity continues in a free fall.
The inability to efficiently move products through some West Coast ports is resulting in lost overseas sales and cancelled orders. In some instances, manufacturing production is at risk and delayed shipments of components are reducing working hours at different plants around the country.
The stakes are too high to watch this go by. A 10-day shutdown could cost the U.S. economy as much as $2.1 billion each day. That’s a price we can’t afford to pay
A new contract agreement is urgently needed because our nation’s global competitiveness is at stake. It’s time to overcome the hurdles and think about the big picture for the good of the country, especially its farmers, manufacturers, retailers and all the industries and workers that are hurting from these events over the last few months.
Manufacturers must be assured that President Obama will do everything possible, including increasing pressure on the parties, to help conclude the negotiations with a new contract and keep the West Coast ports open. The message from Congress is helpful and the President needs to relay a strong commitment to those who rely on these ports to keep their businesses open and operating.
NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons echoed sentiments expressed by today’s congressional bipartisan group during his national State of Manufacturing tour, “Disagreements must not dissolve negotiations. Disputes must not decimate the health of our fragile economic recovery. Everyone has to encourage the parties to reach an agreement to return the ports to normal business operations – so that we can eliminate this uncertainty, and keep global commerce moving.”