December 23 - The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) has urged President Obama to assign federal mediators to help resolve ongoing contract negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime A

"America's seaports are absolutely vital to our economy, jobs and international competitiveness. At this tender stage of the economic recovery, our nation simply cannot afford disruptions, let alone a shutdown, of any part of the ports system," said AAPA president and ceo Kurt Nagle.

"After seven months of labour negotiations without an agreement being reached, we believe that federal mediation is now necessary to prevent the significant economic repercussions that can occur whenever there is uncertainty and unpredictability in the movement of international commerce through our ports."