America's economic growth depends on ports for a competitive edge in exports and for the flow of imported goods that bolster Americans' paychecks. The costs incurred during slowdowns at U.S. ports, recent and otherwise, highlight the considerable importance of ports to the U.S. economy and the need to reform U.S. port labor law. Indeed, if America is to reap the benefits of the two major new free-trade deals currently under negotiation, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), U.S. ports must be open for business.
Economic growth since the deep recession of 2008-2009 has been modest but balanced, and momentum is now building. The outlook for sustained cyclical growth is favorable. So far this expansion, the pace of growth has been dampened by real and financial adjustments following the unsustainable debt and housing bubbles, along with harmful economic and regulatory policies. Not surprisingly, the Fed’s unprecedented monetary stimulus has been largely ineffective in addressing the real, nonmonetary constraints. As these post-crisis adjustments conclude, economic performance will strengthen in 2015-2016, supported by the Fed’s aggressive monetary accommodation and lower energy prices.