A new Economic Policy Institute report finds the U.S.-China trade deficit has eliminated or displaced nearly 2.8 million U.S. jobs since 2001. All 50 states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, have been affected.
Of the 2.8 million jobs lost or displaced, 1.9 million of them were in manufacturing – representing nearly half of all the jobs in the manufacturing sector between 2001 and 2010.
The study also found that the trade deficit with China grew from $84 billion in 2001, when China entered the World Trade Organization, to $278 billion in 2010.
“Increases in U.S. exports tend to create jobs in the United States, and increases in imports tend to lead to job loss. Thus, a growing trade deficit signifies growing job loss,” explains EPI Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Research Robert E. Scott. “The trade deficit with China is exacerbated by the currency manipulation. Because China has pegged its currency to the U.S. dollar instead of allowing it to fluctuate freely, the yuan has remained artificially low, effectively subsidizing Chinese exports and artificially raising the cost of U.S. exports.”
“But the impact of the trade deficit with China extends beyond U.S. jobs lost or displaced,” continues Scott. “Competition with China and countries like it has resulted in lower wages and less bargaining power for U.S. workers in manufacturing and for all workers with less than a four-year college degree.”