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Trade Deficit with China Cost 2.7 Million U.S. Jobs

Trade deficits matter: 2.7 million U.S. jobs have been lost over the past decade due to our nation’s growing trade deficit with China, according to a new report out today (click on chart to expand).

“The China Toll” also shows that between 2001—when China was admitted into the World Trade Organization—and 2011, the U.S. trade deficit with that nation eliminated or displaced 2.1 million manufacturing jobs. Those jobs represent more than half of all U.S. manufacturing jobs lost during that time.

When the report, by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), breaks down the types of manufacturing jobs lost, it finds most are concentrated in computer and electronic products. The trade deficit growth in this area:

contributed to the elimination of 1,064,800 U.S. jobs in computer and electronic products in this period. Indeed, in 2011, the total U.S. trade deficit with China was $301.6 billion—$139.3 billion of which was in computer and electronic products. 

Other report findings show that nearly every industry in every state and the District of Columbia was affected by trade deficit-related job loss. 

  • The more than 2.7 million U.S. jobs lost or displaced by the trade deficit with China were distributed among all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, with the biggest net losses occurring in California (474,700 jobs), Texas (239,600), New York (158,800), Illinois (113,700), North Carolina (110,300), Florida (106,100), Pennsylvania (101,200), Ohio (95,900), Massachusetts (92,700) and Georgia (87,300). 
  • Other industrial sectors hit hard by growing trade deficits with China between 2001 and 2011 include apparel and accessories (211,200 jobs), textile mills and textile product mills (106,200), fabricated metal products (120,600), furniture and fixtures (80,700), plastics and rubber products (57,600), motor vehicles and parts (19,800) and miscellaneous manufactured goods (111,800).  
  • Several service sectors also were hit hard by indirect job losses, including administrative, support and waste management services (160,600) and professional, scientific and technical services (145,000).

Check out an interactive map here that shows job losses by state.

Read the full report here.

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