LOS ANGELES, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Long Beach-Qingdao Sister City Association hosted its annual fall luncheon on Friday, an event created to highlight the cordial relationship between the two coastal cities and foster continuing good will between their peoples.
Established in 1985, the mission of the Long Beach-Qingdao Sister City Association is to promote understanding between Long Beach, California, in the United States, and Qingdao, Shandong Province, in China by pledging to assist exchange and trade between the people of the two cities.
"The most important trade route for the United States is the trans-Pacific trade route between the United States and Asia," said Mario Cordero, executive director of the Port of Long Beach, in his speech at the luncheon.
With 175 shipping lines connecting Long Beach to 217 seaports, the port, located 45 km south of downtown Los Angeles, handles 200 billion U.S. dollars in trade annually.
The executive director feels there may be a diversity of opinion on tariff applications across global communities, but he sides with those who believe that it is the wrong approach.
"We are starting to see that," he said.
The Port of Long Beach has been seriously impacted by the trade war. It had been able to weather the storm last year, but things have slowed down significantly this year.
"To give context, if you compare our containers for the first six months of 2019 to the first six months of 2018, our imports from China are down 19.1 percent. Our exports to China are down 21 percent," Cordero said.
In Cordero's opinion, trade is not only good for business, but for the people of the respective countries.
"It's brought a collaborative spirit, it's brought a working dependency, whether it's China and the U.S., the U.S. and the EU, or the U.S. and the Americas, that dependence in commerce has had a very positive impact on relations between nations," he said.
Dee Andrews, vice mayor of the city of Long Beach, told the assembled guests: "The real question should be what is the impact of the trade tariffs on the U.S. economy and the world economy? The truth is, no one wins a trade war."
The vice mayor also pointed out that across the country, there are 2.6 million jobs connected to trade and trade is especially important for the Port of Long Beach.
Zhang Ping, consul general of China in Los Angeles, paid tribute to the city of Long Beach and the Long Beach-Qingdao Sister City Association for their long-time commitment and dedication to the development of sister city relations.
"This sister city relationship has stood the test of time and remained strong and productive, yielding fruitful results ranging from trade, investment, education to arts and culture over the past three decades," he said.