This was supposed to be the year that CalComp, the Anaheim computer graphics manufacturer, made headway in cracking the Middle East market.
Through June of this year, the company's exports to the Middle East jumped 42%, to $1 million, from the same period last year. And the company was projecting that exports to the region would double by year's end.
But after Iraqi troops swept into Kuwait and occupied the tiny oil-rich nation, "our business in the Middle East literally has come to a standstill," said Larry Sanders, CalComp's sales and marketing manager. "A number of our shipments enroute to that region were secured by letters of credit from banks in Kuwait."
CalComp isn't the only Orange County company that is beginning to feel the pinch from trouble in the Persian Gulf.
Unless oil prices drop in the next few days, the county's exporters and importers say they expect to be paying higher transportation costs.