The new US tariffs were imposed on the 1st of September, when China followed, imposing a 5% tariff on US crude for the first time.
Specifically, the port of Los Angeles' imports decreased by 2.9% to 402,320 TEUs, or 20-foot equivalent units, in September – the first decline at the port since February. In addition, the exports also decreased by 11% to 130,769 TEUs, the 11th consecutive monthly fall.
In light of the reduction, the US West Coast ports - Port of Long Beach, Port of Los Angeles, Port of Oakland, Port of Portland, Port of Seattle and Port of Tacoma - had already warned the US President that the tariffs would seriously affect the ports' operations and trade, as the 38% of all US exports to China by value are transmitted through the six ports.
Also, the sector expects to see additional trade changes as the tariffs are going to be expanded on December 15, and cover about $300 billion in imports. Similarly, Reuters notes that 25% tariffs on $250 billion worth of imports already imposed over the past year are set to rise to 30% on Oct. 15.
The Port of Los Angeles Executive Director, Gene Seroka, commented that the US-China trade war continues having a negative impact on American exporters and manufacturers, adding that he expects to see softer volumes during the fourth quarter.
Moreover, following the announcement of tariffs on Chinese-made consumer goods such as surfboards, smart watches, flat-screen TVs and shoes, containers piled up on the port as the importers tried to avoid the tariffs, sending their products a month ahead.
In early 2019, Eurasia ranked the US-China tensions at the second place of the top risks the world would encounter in 2019.