California’s Reliance on International Trade

John R. McLaurin
President of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association

In 2011, then Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, in his Economic Growth and Competitiveness Agenda, recognized the important role of international trade to the state of California, stating: “…the state must become a better partner in preserving and enhancing California’s position as a preeminent hub in the global economy. At the simplest level, it must make […]

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California Ports Day – A Day of Recognition or Remembrance

John R. McLaurin
President of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association

February 21 has been designated “California Ports Day.” For those of us in the shipping and cargo handling industries, it’s about time. According to recently introduced Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 170, California’s 11 public ports are responsible for one-third of the state’s economy and jobs, accounting for more than $700 billion in revenue and more […]

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Trust No One

John R. McLaurin
President of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association

Without public notice, in the absence of any staff analysis, contrary to the direction of the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) adopted a resolution that will drive up the cost of delivering goods to market and harm the competitiveness of California’s ports. On Thursday, March 23rd, following the […]

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Millionaire Monopoly Asks The Legislature For A Raise … Again

John R. McLaurin
President of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association

It’s nice to have a state-sanctioned monopoly. It’s even nicer to have a monopoly in an important, yet obscure profession, like the San Francisco Bay’s 60 bar pilots do. In 2014, the San Francisco Bar Pilots, who guide ships in and out of the Bay, collected their highest revenues ever in their 150+ year history, […]

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Keep Cargo Moving

John R. McLaurin
President of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association

California is moving forward with a program that will fundamentally change the way cargo is transported to address climate change and reduce emissions at a cost of billions of dollars. The goal of this effort is to see all those who have a hand in moving cargo reduce their carbon output to zero or near-zero […]

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Responding to FL Gov on CA’s Ports

John R. McLaurin
President of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association

Drinking a glass of Florida orange juice this morning, I thought about the Governor of Florida’s well publicized letter to “shipping industry professionals,” announcing his job raiding April visit to California and touting Florida’s port system while at the same time taking a few cheap shots at the State of California by comparing Florida to California […]

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CEQA Reform Needed To Meet Environmental Goals

John R. McLaurin
President of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association

California’s political leadership is setting up 2015 to be the year for taking the already aggressive state climate goals and imposing new, far reaching requirements.   However, if California intends to meet these climate goals and impose new requirements, then a corresponding change in the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) must be made to achieve these […]

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Challenges Facing California’s Ports

John R. McLaurin
President of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association

Despite a history of success, 2014 will pose a number of challenges for public ports throughout California. It is no overstatement to say that California’s economic wellbeing is dramatically and positively impacted when the volume of international trade flowing through our public ports is growing.  Hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout California are directly related […]

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Sequestration Blues

John R. McLaurin
President of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association

The negative impacts of sequestration on the international trade community are looming for California’s public ports, and what happens here will ripple through the national economy in a matter of weeks unless Congress takes quick action. California’s ports and its goods movement system support hundreds of thousands of jobs, and result in billions of dollars […]

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Honor a Vet by Voting

John R. McLaurin
President of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association

With Veteran’s Day coming up, I started thinking about Carl Seiberlich, a retired Admiral who always told me to take the day off.  Years ago, when I went to work with Carl in the Washington D.C. office of American President Lines (APL), while I knew that Carl was in the Navy, he rarely offered any […]

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