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NEWARK, Del. - The Produce Marketing Association has called upon President George W. Bush, to do everything within his power to resolve West Coast port shutdowns in a letter dated today. Port and dock closures caused by labor strikes could cause produce shortages and price increases, cautioned PMA president Bryan Silberman.
"If this situation continues, consumer prices for key fresh produce items will rise significantly, and consumers on the West Coast, Hawaii, and Alaska will see shortages," wrote Silberman. "Our members have products starting to rot in storage or on boats. They cannot supply stores and restaurants."
Silbermann added that overseas customers, particularly Asian countries, rely on U.S. fresh produce supplies, and that as those supplies dwindle, customers will turn to alternative sources. Getting those customers back, Silbermann said, will be difficult.