News & Updates - State and Regional Business Leaders Respond to Attorney General Bonta’s Attack on Critical Goods Movement Sector

SACRAMENTO—State and regional business leaders today are pushing back on recent comments by California Attorney General Rob Bonta attacking the goods movement sector that has led to economic growth and job creation in Southern California, especially the Inland Empire.

“Attorney General Bonta’s comments are concerning,” said Paul Granillo, president and CEO of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership. “At a time when the state saw millions of jobs lost, warehousing and logistics jobs increased during the pandemic, helping support the local and state economy and keep families in our region employed. The attorney general’s comments about the ‘problems’ caused by a critical sector of our economy are more complex and ignore the quality-of-life benefits of investing in jobs in our community, not spending hours stuck in traffic, away from family, commuting to and from other regional job hubs.”

According to the most-recent Trade Report by the Center for Jobs & the Economy, 18.3 percent of US goods trade came through California ports. More US goods trade comes through California ports than any other state; Texas is second with 16.6 percent of total trade. The state’s continued lead in this area forms the trade-related base for one of California’s largest centers of middle-class, blue-collar jobs. Transportation & Warehousing alone provided 698,400 jobs in March, up from 688,900 in March 2020.

“California ports, warehousing and trucking industries are some of the most heavily regulated in the nation,” said Rob Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable. “This includes some of the strongest—if not the strongest—environmental regulations to cut down on both greenhouse gas emissions as well as improve the air quality at the ports and throughout the entire region. The attorney general’s comments ignore the massive investments the ports, warehouses and truckers have made to balance the economic demand to moves goods in and through the state, provide well-paying blue-collar jobs and reduce the environmental impact on the community. These blue-collar jobs have helped replace jobs lost as manufacturing and other industries previously sited in the region have been driven out of the state by expensive and onerous regulations. Comments like the ones made by Attorney General Bonta undermine one of the few sectors of the economy to grow jobs last year. We encourage the attorney general to meet with the industries who powered the Southern California economy during the pandemic to better understand their commitments to economic and environmental sustainability.”

“The warehousing and logistics industry has made significant investments in the Inland Empire region, bringing new jobs and economic security to the region,” continued Rex Hime, president and CEO of the California Business Properties Association. “Much of this investment is due to a push from then-Governor Jerry Brown, who understood the need to have regions invest in their own communities, not just provide jobs and commuter traffic to other economic hubs. Now, these same industries are under attack for making those investments and helping build the Inland Empire into an economic powerhouse.”

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