Global Disaster Has Global Reach

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP

    In a global economy a major disaster, like the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan, hits closer to home than you might think.

    Japanese imports dominate Southern California freeways and some factories have been shut down.

    “I think in the short run it's just going to be harder to find certain Japanese cars. Of course many of them are manufactured in the U.S. The high end ones manufactured in Japan, and that includes the Prius, you may not be able to get them here for a while,” said SDSU Finance Professor Dan Seiver.

    Another field dominated by businesses based in Japan is consumer electronics.

    “Usually you have multiple sources of supply, so I don't think that will be a major problem, there will be alternative sources of supply,” said Seiver.

    It's not all about cars and electronics; it's also about nuclear power. How will the problems in Japan impact growth in the United States?

    “Is the danger really worth it?  And I think what's going to happen is it's going to slow down nuclear development in the United States significantly,” said Seiver.

    Seiver says the nuclear emergency could actually help other power developing industries.

    “On the other hand I think that will further promote industries like solar or wind, geothermal in which there are none of these risks. They are expensive but they are safe,” said Seiver.

    The question now is how long it will take Japanese businesses to bounce back.

    Toyota, Nissan and Honda have all suspended production of cars and trucks in the aftermath of the earthquake.

    Toyota is Japan's largest automaker and has closed 12 of its plants.

    Nissan said 1,300 cars and trucks heading to the U.S. were damaged at the port of Hitachi, north of Tokyo, and another 1,000 at the Miyagi Service Center.