How the novel coronavirus could impact Alabama’s economy

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — The mysterious novel coronavirus may be impacting more than just health around the world. It could also affect Alabama, which does a lot of trading with China when it comes to agriculture and the automotive industry.

“We’re more anxious about the supply chain in the long term because so many of our companies import parts from China,” said Hilda Lockhart, director of the Alabama Department of Commerce’s international trade division.

The concern is related to the mysterious novel coronavirus and how it could get in the way of the U.S. and China’s trade efforts.

“So now, we are a little concerned that we got another hiccup in the movement of goods,” Lockhart said.

Lockhart said it’s still too early to tell how the virus will impact Alabama’s economy.

“As far as the movement of goods and services right now, we’re looking at a minimal impact,” she said.

Agnitra Roy Choudhury, a professor with Auburn University at Montgomery, said the virus could have an impact on the tourism market.

“So you can imagine if we complete quarantine the Chinese tourist market that’s not going to come in, and there are around 7.8 million jobs,” Choudhury said.

Alabama officials are looking at potentially postponing an upcoming trade trip to China due to novel coronavirus.

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