For America’s fastest growing East Coast ports, trade with China equals billions of dollars of investment and thousands of well-paid jobs in the heart of Trump country and not, as the president portrays it, the death knell for America’s middle class.

At Atlantic ports in the southern United States, harbor channels are being deepened to handle bigger ships moving through a widened Panama Canal; cranes are being heightened to unpack the larger stacks of containers; new ship berths and expanded rail hubs are opening the door wider for the imported goods demanded by American consumers and businesses.

Exports are on the rise too, and could be boosted if President Donald Trump strikes deals to export tens of billions of dollars in commodities and energy to China in an effort to cut America’s $375 billion trade deficit with the world’s second-largest economy.

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