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Costly Trade With China: Millions of U.S. Jobs Displaced with Net Job Loss in Every State

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Publication Date: May 2007

Publisher(s): Economic Policy Institute

Author(s): Robert Scott

Topic: Trade (Free trade and protection)

Type: Brief

Coverage: China

Abstract:

Contrary to the predictions of its supporters, China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) has failed to reduce its trade surplus with the United States or increase overall U.S. employment.

The rise in the U.S. trade deficit with China between 1997 and 2006 has displaced production that could have supported 2,166,000 U.S. jobs. Most of these jobs (1.8 million) have been lost since China entered the WTO in 2001. Between 1997 and 2001, growing trade deficits displaced an average of 101,000 jobs per year, or slightly more than the total employment in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Since China entered the WTO in 2001, job losses increased to an average of 353,000 per year--more than the total employment in greater Akron, Ohio. Between 2001 and 2006, jobs were displaced in every state and the District of Columbia. Nearly three-quarters of the jobs displaced were in manufacturing industries. Simply put, the promised benefits of trade liberalization with China have been unfulfilled.