LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Everyday, Los Angeles ports and airports help spread the wealth from international businesses into Southern California’s economy.
The World Trade Center in Downtown Los Angeles alone has helped attract more than $1 billion of foreign investments into L.A. County businesses, according its website.
According to trade experts, there are 9,000 foreign companies in L.A., and foreign investors pump billions of dollars into local businesses.
But the travel ban, which has sparked nationwide protests and outrage, may have unintended consequences on the local economy.
NAFTA negotiator and former U.S. Trade Representative and Secretary of Commerce, Mickey Kantor, said he was deeply troubled by the ripple effect and anxiety the travel ban may cause to local businesses.
“The fact is there could be retaliation by others, saying we’re going to cut you off if you cut us off,” Kantor said.
“We’re a global city in Los Angeles. And our international trade really drives this economy. If we can’t travel freely, and if there are restrictions are limited on our travelers and businesses, this again can have dire consequences,” said Stephen Cheung, president of the World Trade Center in L.A.
He also worried the money that freely flows from international investors could slow, and Americans could be subject to increased tariffs and immigration travel bans as well.
Cheung said if there are fears of travel restrictions, many investors won’t be willing to invest in the United States.
Many foreign investors and workers, who bring their families to Los Angeles, may be worried about being separated from them if they get caught up in politics while overseas, Cheung added.