Why Aren’t West Coast Ports Booming?

In Analysis by Michael Rae

The rise of trade over the last few decades between the U.S. and Asia—particularly China—has been great for our ports. Activity has spiked in recent years, with local consumption from the sector increasing from $1.1 trillion to $1.4 trillion in 2018. But growth across ports has not been equal—it is generally higher on the East and Gulf Coast, and lower on the West Coast.
This is odd, since West Coast ports have a straight shot to China. It speaks to the difference in business climates, with the West Coast having tougher labor policy and more hostility to economic growth.
Let’s start with the trends.

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