Port Authority’s Alex Heil on US Trade War: “I’d Be Very Surprised if Ratcheting up Tariffs Produce Any Productive Results”

JERSEY CITY, NJ – One of the first sessions at CAPRE’s Ninth Annual New Jersey Apartment Summit was an up-close Q&A with two highly influential thought leaders in New Jersey commercial real estate. “Economic Forecast with JLL and Port Authority Economists: Macro Factors, Including Trade War, Interest Rate Uncertainty and the Impact on the Micro Tri-State Economies and Real Estate Outlook” featured the insight of Alexander Heil, Chief Economist at the Port Authority of NY & NJ & Ryan Severino, Chief Economist at JLL. Moderator Chris J. Murphy, Partner, at Murphy Partners, kicked off the session with a brief look at the likelihood of a recession. About halfway into the discussion, Murphy looked to Severino and asked him to tackle a seemingly simple, but actually pretty complicated, question. “Where are all of these boxes coming from?” Murphy posed, with a bit of a grin. “Somewhat ironically or counter-intuitively, the Trade War with China may actually be a benefit for international trade in this area. I’m going to just ballpark this, but somewhere around Singapore, there is a dividing line. If you’re east of that invisible line, it’s easier to put the cargo on the boat and send it toward the United States. If you’re west of that line, it’s better to put it on a boat and send it toward the East Coast of the United States. So if some of this manufacturing activity is going to get shunted from…