Mobile to challenge Savannah in the battle for chicken-feet export dominance

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An alert friend has called my attention to the fact that I was quoted, by name (!), in what appears to be the lead editorial in today’s Anniston Star. The Star is a small but venerated Alabama newspaper that has over the years employed the likes of Jim Yardley, Robin DeMonia, Seth Lipsky, Adam Nossiter and Rick Bragg. The editorial is about a trip Alabama Gov. Bob Riley made last week to promote the port of Mobile as a destination for Latin American goods:

The governor’s trip came coincidently with the publication of a piece in Time (Justin Fox, “A Port That Exports“) that tells of how Savannah, Ga., could point the way for the United States to reduce its trade deficit. Read the article, replace Savannah with Mobile, and you can see that Riley again may be on to something.

Savannah’s rise as a port is due in no small part to the fact that the region around it produces goods to be carried out. So does Alabama.

What is the top export by volume of Savannah’s port? Wood chips, which Alabama can produce plenty. Alabama also can send out paper, paperboard and cars, and soon our state will be exporting high-quality steel.

Chicken feet, too.

Yes, Savannah has tapped into the Chinese chicken-feet market. So can Alabama. Our chicken feet are just as good as Georgia’s.

The point is this: Singing Savannah’s praises is fine, but Mobile and Alabama offer those same advantages and more.