Southeast : U.S. Official Calls Port a ‘Crown Jewel’

The Port of Long Beach shines as the “crown jewel” of U.S. economic strategy, U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor told port and city officials Friday.

He said the port--the nation’s busiest--must continue to grow as international trade agreements eclipse Cold War military alliances, and noted that trade “has become a national strategic issue.”

Kantor could offer no federal aid for local ventures--such as the $1.8-billion Alameda Corridor rail project--that city and port officials say will drive the port’s expansion over the next few years. But he said the port stands to gain as he heads to Japan next week for a conference aimed at lowering trade barriers between the United States and Pacific Rim countries.

Long Beach City Council members said they want more tangible support from the Clinton Administration.


“This is like investing in the military,” Councilman Alan Lowenthal said. “This [port] is what will protect our job base.”