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  • PMA has announced that the Port of Seattle is fully closed due to a coordinated work stoppage.
  • The Port of Seattle is one of the top seaports in North America that US ag exporters rely on to ship their produce and grain.
  • He warned that shutting down the AgTC would damage the reputation of US ag exports as safe.

Shipping containers at the Port of Seattle.

Patti Domm | CNBC

Labor strife continues on the West Coast, with the Port of Seattle closing after the ILWU refuses to ship labor at container terminals. This is according to an announcement by the Pacific Shipping Association, which represents terminals at ports.

West Coast ports experienced a series of labor slowdowns and stoppages throughout the week, with the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland handling an estimated 5.2 billion in trade.

The Port of Seattle and its twin port, The Port of Tacoma, comprise the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA). The Port of Seattle is one of the top seaports in North America that US ag exporters rely on to ship their produce and grain. 40% of jobs in Washington state are related to business.

Top trading partners in 2022 were China, Japan, Vietnam, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and India.

The Agricultural Transportation Coalition (AgTC), which represents ag exporters, told CNBC that these outages are damaging the reputation of U.S. ag exporters as a reliable trading partner.

“When ILWU-PMA negotiations broke down at the end of the previous contract, Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture wrote to our U.S. Department of Agriculture saying, ‘Your ports are not working, but our cows are still eating.’ They have given.

According to the port’s website, the top six U.S. exports are apples ($2.185 billion), milk ($1.209 billion), cattle ($801.5 million), wheat ($756.8 million). ), potatoes, (valued at $712.4 million). and hay (valued at $601.7 million). In the year The total export value in 2022 was $5.66 billion.

Called NWSA “Refers,” it is the nation’s second-largest gateway for refrigerated containers. Frozen products such as French fries, meat, dairy, apples and fish are transported in these special containers.

“Our agriculture cannot stand still and cannot be stored at the terminals,” said Friedman. “We cannot continually evade shipping and delivery obligations to foreign buyers.”

Friedman said ag exporters, with very few exceptions, do not have the option of switching from West Coast gateways to the East and Gulf coasts. But warned customers, foreign buyers.

“Argentina, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand,” Friedman said. “We don’t want to lose these customers.”

NWSA is also a port importer of automobiles with a dedicated terminal for roll-on and roll-off vessels. Automobile imports reached 172,979 units by 6.5 percent compared to 2021. Kia and Hyundai cars use this hatch.

CNBC reached out to the Port of Seattle and the ILWU and had no comment at press time.