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Tuesday, Jul 5, 2022

Letter Wong

LETTER 4/1stjc

Riordan is trade champion

Douglas Young’s story fails to grasp the larger trade picture here in the Los Angeles region.

The Port of Los Angeles enjoys an unequaled reputation for financial stability and strength, with a AA rating from the three major bond rating agencies in this country. This is the highest rating for any non-tax supported port including our neighbors, the Port of Long Beach.

Much for the credit for our financial capability lies in the ability of the port and the city as a whole to attract and retain business including those involved in global trade. We at the port aggressively market the business opportunities of this diverse region and work closely with the mayor’s L.A. Business Team to identify those incentives which may make the difference to relocating and growing businesses.

I speak from a firsthand perspective the port handles a lion’s share of Southern California trade and its economic impact reaches one out of every 27 jobs or $1 out of every $23 in income in the region. Obviously, our stature within the international trade arena requires the strong support of the city family led by the mayor.

The Foreign Trade Zone and the Alameda Corridor were correctly cited in the story as examples of projects receiving strong federal support due to the mayor’s undeniable influence in Washington. We are in the midst of an era of massive investment and, his personal help, as well as that of his staff, has been instrumental in securing necessary funding for public-private partnerships.

The mayor is criticized for “mixed messages” regarding his support for the port and international trade. However, it should be noted that the mayor correctly identifies that the city must have a reputation as a safe community if we are to continue to attract businesses and tourists.

In addition, we at the port are well aware of the cultural sensitivities required for successful international relationships and have been working with the mayor’s staff to maximize our joint protocol efforts.

The story cited the City of Long Beach’s creative efforts to garner a market share of international trade. I would also acknowledge that city’s success in establishing effective programs within its boundaries. However, Long Beach is not Los Angeles and Mayor Riordan’s programs are aimed at a larger regional perspective. We must all join forces to improve and promote the image of Los Angeles as a diversified hub for international trade and for global market opportunities.

LELAND WONG

President

Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners

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