Ports Authority: 'Too early to tell' if tariffs will affect ports

The South Carolina Ports Authority said it's too early to tell if President Donald Trump's higher tariffs will affect ports in South Carolina.

Kelsi Childress, the external affairs coordinator with South Carolina Ports Authority, said it's also too early to tell if the tariffs imposed will impact the ports in the future.

"In October, we announced the highest monthly container volume in our history," Childress said in an interview with Palmetto Business Daily.

Childress said the port handled 217,035 20-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) that month.

"October's record-breaking volumes marked an 18.7 percent year-over-year increase in container volume growth," Childress said.

October's volumes broke a previous record of 206,541 TEUs, which was set in August, according to a press release issued by the South Carolina Ports Authority. South Carolina Port Authority's President and CEO Jim Newsome said in the press release that the authority was receiving increasing evidence that some of the spikes in volume were due to advancing shipments to avoid Trump's tariff changes, which take effect in January.

"We are doing a more thorough assessment as to the implications of this on future volumes," Newsome said in the press release.

Ports in Virginia and Georgia have also reported a rise in imports, according to The Post and Courier.

In July, China accused the United States of starting a trade war due to the tariffs imposed by Trump, according to the Washington Post. At the G-20 Summit, Trump agreed to not raise the rate to 25 percent as announced and will leave the tariffs on $200 billion worth of product at a rate of 10 percent, CNBC reported.

Several of the United States' trade partners retaliated when Trump's tariffs were announced this year, with China imposing tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods and Canada implementing its own tariffs.

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