House Trade Working Group Members Decry Job Loss to China EPI Report Shows Trade Deficit Hurting U.S. Economy

July 30, 2008
Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC -- Members of the House Trade Working Group today reacted to a report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) that shows the growing U.S. trade deficit with China cost our economy 2.3 million jobs between 2001 and 2007, including 366,000 last year alone. A copy can be provided upon request.

More than half (55.6 percent) of the jobs displaced by trade with China were in the top half of American wage earners. Nearly a third (31 percent) were among workers with a college degree.

“This report outlines the devastating impact of the U.S. trade deficit with China. That deficit has cost 366,000 U.S. jobs and job opportunities in the past year alone,” said Congressman Mike Michaud (D-ME). “The U.S. trade deficit is further increased by China’s manipulation of its currency, the yuan. It’s time for Congress to pass the Ryan-Hunter legislation to fight currency manipulation. We must also pass a trade enforcement bill that has the teeth to address this enormous trade imbalance.”

“California this past year alone, has lost over 55,000 jobs due to growing China trade deficits, a hard hit for local families and the domestic economy,” said Congresswoman Linda Sánchez (D-CA). “Until we revise our policies to encourage American corporations to invest here, rather than in countries with inadequate labor laws, and even forced labor, we can expect more wage suppression and job loss.”

“This report confirms what people in my district already know,” said Congressman Phil Hare (D-IL), who recently testified before the International Trade Commission in support of taking action against Chinese tire dumping. “Unfair trade with China is costing Americans good-paying jobs and decimating our manufacturing base in Illinois and across the nation. After six consecutive months of job loss and a ballooning trade deficit with China, it is time to move forward with strong enforcement legislation that penalizes the Chinese government for currency manipulation, illegal subsidies, and other wrongful practices. If China’s misconduct continues, we should revisit the merits of their PNTR status.”

“The information in this report will come as no surprise to the people who have been negatively impacted by this country’s flawed and unfair trade practices,” said Congresswoman Betty Sutton (D-OH). “I have seen communities and families devastated by policies that show little regard for the needs of American workers and businesses. The startling job losses outlined in this report - including over 100,000 in my home state of Ohio due to China trade policies alone - make it clear that our country needs new trade policies that work for American families and businesses instead of against them.”

"This report illustrates how trade with closed economies isn't free trade at all,” said Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH). “We are sacrificing our values and selling our security to the lowest bidder. China captures the gold medal for unfair trade practices."

“This report makes it crystal clear that we can ill-afford another four years of the Bush-McCain model of trade. While some may have given up and claim that the jobs that Michigan has lost are not coming back, I am not willing to throw in the towel,” said Congressman Dale Kildee (D-MI). “I believe in fair trade that is balanced and enforced by an Administration that encourages the resurgence of domestic manufacturing. When American workers have a level playing field, we can compete - and win - against any nation in the world.”