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Second Point/Counterpoint Event To Focus On Port Readiness

Published: March 15, 2012

The Center of International Trade and Transportation (CITT) at CSULB will hold its second Point/Counterpoint (P/CP) forum on Wednesday, March 28, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the Carpenter Performing Arts Center. The P/CP is CITT’s signature event and encourages a dialogue on trade issues. It is an educational forum in which different perspectives on a pertinent issue of interest are presented. The objective is to understand fully the facts and various perspectives on the topic in an educational, neutral format and to allow the audience to further explore the topic through question and answer.

This year’s event, “The Future of Southern California Goods Movement: Will We Survive or Thrive in 2025?” will focus on the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which are projected to more than double in growth of containerized goods by 2025 to 25 million 20-foot equivalent units. The forum will address, “Are we ready or not ready to accommodate the projected growth?”

“In order to grow you have to expand—expand not only the infrastructure but the entire system that supports goods movement,” said Marianne Venieris, CITT executive director. “The anticipated doubling in traffic by the year 2025 is based on forecasts. It is important to understand the impact of these numbers. We also need to be clear of the consequences of accommodating or not accommodating growth.”

To set the stage, the forum will open with video presenting fictitious and extreme scenarios that provide two visions. One scenario is an overly positive view of goods movement in 2025, assuming all stakeholders cooperated extremely well in the political, legal, environmental and logistical arenas. The other scenario gives an overly negative view assuming that things had gone badly in all the aforementioned arenas. The video was produced by CSULB’s Advanced Media Productions Center and CITT’s Policy and Steering Committee.

“This year we wanted to look at what it means to lose discretionary cargo—goods that enter the country via the San Pedro port complex but are consumed east of the Rocky Mountains,” said Venieris. “We believe that it is important for our community to understand the pros and cons of ‘losing’ this cargo. What will be the impact on the job market and on the environment?”

Point Counterpoint Event on March 28

The program will feature a panel discussion on which alternative future scenario is likely to occur and what might be the impact on Southern California. Panelists will include Jeannie Beckett, principal at The Beckett Group, who represents industry and also has the viewpoint outside the local area; Mortimer Downey, senior advisor at Parsons Brinckerhoff, who represents a national policy perspective and will share examples of successes and failures from other states and regions; and Gill V. Hicks, senior associate and director of Southern California Operations at Cambridge Systematics, who brings to the table his expertise in collaboration and in port and trade issues. Serving as moderator and overseeing the audience question-and-answer session will be Genevieve Giuliano, Ferraro Chair of Effective Local Government at USC’s Price School of Public Policy.

It will be up to the moderator and the panelists to offer a realistic assessment for the critical issues addressed in the scenarios and respond to the questions from the audience about how the ports and the regional goods movement system might address projected growth in in containerized goods by 2025.

The Point/Counterpoint forum will be available via webcast following the event and the topical videos that have been produced to set the stage for discussions are also available for purchase.

For more information, visit the Point/Counterpoint website, contact the Center of International Trade and Transportation by e-mail or call 562/985-2872.

–Shayne Schroeder