New Study Spotlights U.S. Job Loss From Trade Deals


U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur wants to put a face on unfair trade. Tell us how your current or past job, family or community have been affected by NAFTA or other past trade deals, and we’ll share it with your U.S. Representative and Senators.

Need another reason to oppose Fast Track and the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement? Promises of new jobs and growing exports from past trade deals haven’t lived up to the hype, according to a new study by the Economic Policy Institute. In fact, just the opposite has happened. U.S. trade deficits grew, job losses mounted and wages fell following trade deal disasters like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, allowing China into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001 and the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) of 2007.

“The issue is simple,” said the study. “Increased exports support U.S. jobs, increased imports cost U.S. jobs. Thus, it is trade balances—the net of exports and imports—that determine the number of jobs created or displaced by trade agreements. Rather than reducing our too-high trade deficit, past trade agreements have actually been followed by larger U.S. trade deficits.”

The trade deficit with China has cost U.S. workers more than 2.7 million net jobs between 2001 and 2011, with 1.1 million, or more than one-third, coming from the computer and electronic products sector.

Also, the manufacturing and related jobs affected by trade tend to be higher paying, and when they leave, workers are forced to compete for lower paying jobs in sectors such as retail that can’t be exported. The increased competition lowers wages in these sectors even further.

The EPI study estimates that the loss in wages from the trade deficit from China that forces U.S workers into lower-paying jobs was $37 billion in 2011 alone. The losses hit minority workers especially hard with 985,000 jobs displaced and wage losses of $10.1 billion.

Take action: Tell Congress to Vote NO on Fast Track For the TPP and if your current or past job, family or community been affected by NAFTA and other past U.S. trade deals, tell us your story and we’ll share it with your U.S. Representative and Senator.

Click here to view a video message to IAM members from U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH).