NEW ORLEANS — Reports from the governing bodies for Louisiana's biggest ports said the effects of trade wars negatively affected them last year. 

The New Orleans Advocate/The Times-Picayune reported that the recently released reports say bulk cargo volumes dropped by 25% at the Port of New Orleans in 2019, and the much larger Port of South Louisiana just upriver saw a decrease of 15%. 

The newspaper reported that the state's economic growth has increased in recent months. But the shipping industry plays a critical role, and the slowdown suggests President Donald Trump's tariffs are putting pressure on parts of the economy. 

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Louisiana's biggest ports felt the sting of trade wars in 2019, as falling shipments of steel, petrochemicals and some other commodities weighed on their business results and offered a worrying counterpoint to the state's otherwise accelerating economy.