GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, economists said it could impact local industry and economic development.
The Greenville ENC Alliance is in talks with companies based in Canada. Those conversations are still happening. Economic development experts said the uncertainty surrounding cost of business could put a halt to those plans.
“They don’t know now what the cost of doing business, how it will increase,” said Uconda Dunn, vice president of Business Development with Greenville ENC Alliance. “There’s going to be moving line items, moving budgets that hadn’t been planned for because of the increase in oil prices, because of the increase in prices for supplies and not being able to move their products as quickly.”
The Biden Administration is targeting Russia’s energy sector.
“This is a step we’re taking to inflict further pain on Putin,” said President Joe Biden in an address to the nation on Tuesday.
The president announced a ban on Russian oil imports, warning Americans’ gas prices will jump.
“Defending freedom is going to cost,” said Biden. “It’s going to cost us, as well.”
Dunn said the supply chain will suffer because of that increase.
“Truckers will probably not be able to move product as quickly,” she said. “They’re not going to be on the road as often, so we’re going to start seeing those shelves starting to get a little empty again.”
But Dunn said the ban will have more of an impact on U.S. allies.
“We do produce a large amount of our own crude oil, so we will feel the price at the pump,” said Dunn. “But as far as access, it should not get to the point where we would be in any way having a shortage.”
Dunn said everyone will feel the effects, but it’s too soon to tell what the long-term impacts could be.
“We’re going to see it in building supplies,” she said. “We’re going to see it in our consumer products. We’re going to see it everywhere across the board. It’s going to just depend on how long this lasts and how well companies are able to rebound from it.”
The U.S. has seen some of the largest gas price increases in history this week. Experts said the pain at the pump is here to stay. That increase is expected to slow down in the coming days.