Walmart's policies have sent 400,000 jobs to China since 2001, a new report conservatively estimates. The report from the Economic Policy Institute describes the process through which Walmart, the world's largest retailer, serves as a key conduit of Chinese products being introduced to the American market.
Key findings from the report:
- Chinese imports entering through Walmart in 2013 likely totaled at least $49.1 billion, and the combined effect of imports from and exports to China conducted through Walmart likely accounted for 15.3% of the growth of the total U.S. goods trade deficit with China between 2001 and 2013.
- The Walmart-based trade deficit with China alone eliminated or displaced more than 400,000 U.S. jobs between 2001 and 2013.
- The manufacturing sector and its workers have been hardest hit by the growth of Walmart’s imports. Walmart’s increased trade deficit with China between 2001 and 2013 eliminated 314,500 manufacturing jobs, 75.7% of the jobs lost from Walmart’s trade deficit. These job losses are particularly destructive because jobs in the manufacturing sector pay higher wages and provide better benefits than most other industries, especially for workers with less than a college education.
- Walmart has announced plans to create opportunities for American manufacturing by “investing in American jobs.” To date, very few actual U.S. jobs have been created by this program, and since 2001, the growing Walmart trade deficit with China has displaced more than 100 U.S. jobs for every actual or promised job created through this program.
China's rapidly-growing trade surpluses are largely a result of currency manipulation. China invests hundreds of billions of dollars in efforts to bid up the value of the dollar and other currencies, lowering the costs of Chinese exports to the United States and other countries. Suppression of labor rights keeps wages down, making Chinese-made products artificially cheap. Walmart serves as a major conduit of cheap products into the United States.
Read the full report to learn more.