As Americans cast their votes Tuesday to decide the balance of power in Washington, international business leaders gathered in New Orleans to determine a strategy for dealing with political uncertainty.
It’s International Trade Week in Louisiana, and leaders from some powerful industries are worried about how changes in trade policy will hit home. China is cutting way back on buying American soybeans – much of which is grown in Louisiana. And tariff hikes on imported steel could affect billions of dollars’ worth of investments in liquid natural gas production.
Caitlin Cain is chief executive officer with the World Trade Center of New Orleans, which sponsors Trade Week:
“We are uniquely caught on the crosshairs on a lot of these issues. We’re a major importer of foreign steel. That foreign steel is used to build a lot of these mega-complexes that are, again, our legacy, our traditional industries throughout the state.”
Panelists advised looking to the World Trade Organization to stabilize jittery partners unsure of how to deal with the volatile Trump Administration. They say the international group that negotiates deals signed by trading nations can take a slow and steady approach to getting deals done.
Trade week events move to Baton Rouge tomorrow.