Local port watches growing global tensions

Local port watches growing global tensions

With the growing global tensions, ports that rely on trade are paying attention.

"Right now we're not getting along with Russia at all. We may be at an all-time low in terms of relationship with Russia,” said President Donald Trump during a press conference Wednesday.

The president’s tough talk about Russia came mere days after the U.S. retaliated against the Syrian regime over the use of chemical weapons against other Syrians. Russia is cozy with Syria.

FOX 8 News asked the Port of New Orleans about concerns over growing tensions.

"Our business, the maritime industry, is highly competitive and they operate on very thin margins, so stability is extremely important with the global trade, with any global trade,” said Michelle Ganon, Pert of New Orleans vice president of public affairs.

While Russia is not the port’s biggest customer, some Russian goods flow through it.

"At this point we don't do a lot of business with Russia. We used to export frozen poultry to them in years past, (but) we aren't doing that right now. We are importing some aluminum products,” Gannon said.

Iran is also an ally of Syria.

"We aren't doing any business with them, so that's just a situation where we would just watch and see,” said Ganon.

Uncertainty about what could happen on a global scale is not what ports like.

"Certainly, we love a stable trading climate, and that's always ideal. But Russia does not, there's nothing specific right now that we're looking for where there would be an immediate impact. That said, what could happen if the tensions escalate or if they're sustained is other countries that might be more sympathetic to Russia than the United States, countries that we work with, those countries might begin to shift their alliances and their trade partnerships,” said Gannon.

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