Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Emergency care needed for U.S.’ sick trade deficit with China

How much more time will pass before the Obama administration takes action on our toxic trade with the People’s Republic of China?

As a result of our burgeoning trade deficit with China since 2001, when China joined the World Trade Organization:

-- About 2,400,000 jobs have been lost or displaced in the United States.
-- The computer, electronic equipment, and parts industries led, with 627,000 jobs displaced, more than in any other sector of the economy.
-- Every Congressional district, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, has been affected, with California and Texas as the biggest losers among states.
Those are among the facts documented in a new report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) issued March 23 in conjunction with the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM).

The impact of the China trade deficit – which reached a record high of $270,000,000 in 2008 – is not limited to the hemorrhaging of jobs. Workers still employed are affected too, by decreased wages. A typical full-time, median wage earner lost an estimated $1,400 in 2006.

Currency manipulation is a major cause of the huge trade surplus enjoyed by China, according to the report’s author, Robert E. Scott of EPI. This intervention “makes the yuan artificially cheap and provides an effective subsidy on Chinese exports.”

As a result, China’s goods cost up to 40 percent less, according to the AAM, which brings together a select group of America’s leading manufacturers and the United Steelworkers.

The AAM supports the newly introduced Senate legislation designed to halt the misalignment of currencies by China and other countries. The group also urges the U.S. Treasury Department to list China as a currency manipulator in its semi-annual report on currency exchange, due by April 15.

Extensive background information can be found on the AAM Website at

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