Will Exporting Ports Fix U.S. Trade Deficit?

How can the U.S. close its trade deficit? A town in Georgia may have some answers

Kevin Fleming / Corbis

A tugboat pulls a load of cargo containers toward the New Savannah Bridge and the Port of Savannah, Georgia.

The giant ships from Asia steam into the Southern California ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach laden with flat-screen TVs, flip-flops, copying machines, nail clippers, Thomas the Tank Engines and all the other necessities of modern life. They leave port a few days later loaded mainly with empty containers.

For years, this has been among the most resonant images of the U.S.'s economic predicament. The world makes. We take.

But there is another port, across the continent from L.A., where things look a lot different. Stand on River Street in the old Georgia city of Savannah, and the big ships...

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