West Coast port shutdown could cost economy $2B a day

A total shutdown of West Coast ports could cost the U.S. economy about $2 billion per day, the CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers said Wednesday. 

“If we have a total shutdown of the ports, the last shutdown was about 10 days. If that occurs again, it’ll be about $2 billion a day. That’s an impact to our economy,” Jay Timmons said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

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Some ships at nearly 30 ports on the West Coast have been unable to dock, and some containers have been stranded because of a contract dispute between union leaders who represent shipping executives and dockworkers.

President Obama has dispatched Labor Secretary Tom Perez to help settle the issue. On Tuesday, Perez met separately with two unions.

Timmons said the slowdown is already having “a really detrimental impact on the economy.”

"We're already seeing a slowdown in wages here in this country. Many of our manufacturers are having to cut back on overtime, and eliminate it altogether sometimes. We're losing orders.” 

Foreign customers have canceled their orders, Timmons added, from U.S. kitchen appliance makers and paper manufacturers.