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First it was the West Coast and yes it was Bob Dylan now it could be the East Coast and the Gulf Coast as well the longshoreman union.
Is threatening to go on strike and analysts say it could be catastrophic for the fragile US economy.
Fifteen ports along the gulf and eastern seaboard could shut down in just four days now as we speak to in the fiscal cliff.
This is the last thing US businesses nationwide need to threaten their bottom lines here to help explain.
What's at stake is -- gold vice president with The National Retail Federation thank you for joining us the last time we face something like this 2002.
It took six months for the US economy to recover in the ports I think it was the West Coast for only closed for ten days is that accurate.
-- and yes thank you very much for having me on tonight yes the last time we had a full coast wide shut down.
Was actually in 2002 when there was -- ten -- locked out.
That as -- said took over six months recover from and most economists say they doubt lock out.
Cost the US economy about a billion dollars a day so now we're talking -- I think the numbers anywhere from fourteen to 151000 longshoreman from essentially Portland Maine down to Houston.
What does that mean to various economies it seems to me -- we're talking about far more ports and we were in 2002.
Correct it could be a fairly significant hit on the US economy.
Everybody who relies on the ports importers exporters manufacturers farmers.
Agricultural exporters trucking company's all these industries rely on the ports to move the nation's commerce if the ports shut down that means nothing moves in or out.
And essentially gonna impact the economy.
So the deadline is this weekend they would go on strike this weekend I had last I saw what they going to be meeting with a mediator is there a way to avert this will it take some kind of action by congress perhaps the president in -- At this point the yard to two sides are scheduled to meet the economy here at some point this week before December 20 ninth we don't know when aware that -- don't take place.
At this point we need to present the step in and ensure that both sides the at the table and continued to negotiate.
Without engaging in supply chain disruptions and the president legally take some kind of action ordering them to stay on the job.
He can the only real legal options out there is for the president to invoke his authorities under what is known as -- Taft Hartley act.
Which -- -- President Bush did back in 2002.
After ten days.
But the damage after just a few days seems like it would be -- -- the way you've just described the supply ten we would have essentially a dead cults like hitting a brick wall.
That's correct I mean we're still trying to figure out what the impact was from the -- strike we just went through at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach -- still cleaning up from that.
So I've -- have a much bigger impact if you have the full East Coast and Gulf Coast that go down as a result of strike or shut down.
Without getting too deep into the issue I believe it has to do it with partial capping of how much the longshoreman are paid for the -- have certain cargoes that they unload.
The operators wanna -- -- the longshoreman do not want a cap it is there room for a settlement before we hit the deadline.
We really hope there is a mean there -- a lot of issues that are still on the table between both sides that need to be discussed the -- -- royalty issues just the latest issue that has come up.
But really the only way to make progress and to get a new deal is for the parties to -- the table.
-- can -- negotiate and work with the federal mediator as they have been doing for the past ninety days what I've just curious if you have I would call them off record sources if you have background sources on either side and they indicating view that they will reach a -- -- you hearing get ready for bad.
We honestly we don't know you know neither side is really talking we've only seen what we've seen in the press.
You know when they walked off last week all signs point to TUA strike happening -- the contract expired.
Encouraged that the two sides against -- -- the federal mediator -- but you know we just don't know at this point in time.
Do you think the union appreciates the that devastation that they could -- whether they're right or wrong in their you know attempts at a new contract.
That what this would do to the US economy should be on track.
We I mean we hope they do I mean I think over the summer they realize that their jobs really depended upon.
The trade that moves in -- -- -- United States you know the impact of the -- shutting down again is not just localized to the port.
But it's nationwide everybody else relies on -- -- -- the nation's commerce Jonathan gold vice president supply -- and customs policy for The National Retail Federation thank you for being with us on this Wednesday evening.
Thank you very much a high stakes.