National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement on the contract agreement between the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU):
“For months, the NAM has pressed the Obama Administration, Congress and the parties for a resolution to the West Coast ports slowdown. Finally, just last week, the Administration answered our call to step up its engagement. And, today, the parties have responded to our warnings, our concerns and our needs, beginning the process of returning the ports to normal business operations and removing major barriers to global commerce.
We are pleased President Obama dispatched Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez to help impress upon the parties the need to resolve the deadlock. We appreciate the engagement of Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and mayors up and down the West Coast to communicate the importance of open and functioning ports to the economy. In addition, we thank all manufacturers from coast to coast for lending their voices to this urgent crisis and our partners at the National Retail Federation for joining with us to raise public awareness and galvanize the public’s support for a swift resolution.
While this agreement is welcome news, there will be significant backlogs to clear, and everyone has a part to help restore confidence that the West Coast and the United States are open for business.”
In June, the NAM joined the National Retail Federation to release a study showing that the U.S. economy could lose as much as $2.5 billion a day if a prolonged West Coast ports shutdown occurred.