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Changes to Panama Canal could alter trade through bypassing US West Coast ports

Friday, January 6, 2012

A major expansion of the Panama Canal is raising alarms on the US West Coast, where business, labor and public officials are warning that the project threatens to dent the region's role in international trade.

The $5.25 billion project will make the canal wider and deeper, allowing huge freighters from Asia to bypass West Coast ports and head straight to terminals on the Gulf Coast and East Coast.

The neighboring ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which together handle about 40 percent of the nation's imported Asian goods, could lose as much as a quarter of their cargo business by some estimates after the Panama expansion is completed in 2014.

Original soiurce: Los Angeles Times