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USW News Break - Wednesday, January 09, 2013

USW Flags China Trade Study Showing 30% of U.S. Jobs Lost

Negative impact on American manufacturing came from absence of job growth

Contact: Gary Hubbard, 202-256-8125;

Pittsburgh (Jan. 8) – President Leo W. Gerard of the United Steelworkers (USW) today cited a Washington Post report on a new study released by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) that showed employment in U.S manufacturing was nearly 30 percent lower than it otherwise would have been as a result of China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001.

The study published by economic researchers Justin Pierce of the University of California and Yale University’s Peter Schott was first reported by Dylan Matthews in the Washington Post, reinforces much of what the USW has been saying for the past decade. Free trade with China has reduced American manufacturing jobs by the millions.

Gerard said the research economists’ updated the trade employment statistics in American manufacturing since 2001, which reveal a startling drop in the number of jobs after permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with China was granted in late 2000. “The study concluded that employment in the U.S. manufacturing sector was nearly 30 percent lower than it otherwise would have been -- absent PNTR.”

Mathews also wrote that the study finds American employment in manufacturing would have grown by close to 10 percent – instead of shrinking – if it were not for trade liberalization with China.

USW President Gerard declares: “The NBER study illustrates the necessity for the Obama Administration to become more aggressive in its enforcement efforts and to take more complaints to the WTO to stop China’s continued trade violations that directly lead to job losses in the U.S.

“This study makes clear that the standard methods employed to evaluate job losses and the potential of trade liberalization are seriously flawed. If it were not for the surge protection of Section 421 as a safeguard in PNTR, the U.S. could potentially have lost its passenger tire manufacturing sector.

“Blind adherence to free trade ideology costs jobs. It does not create them. Future trade agreements simply must ensure that American workers and manufacturers share in the benefits of fair trade.

“What America needs are government policies to create jobs with infrastructure investment and vigorous trade law enforcement, rather than reliance on spending cuts and austerity. It’s the accumulating economic damage of the monthly trade deficits with China, not just the budget deficit that are destroying the economy.”

The NBER study confirms a report done last summer by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) that found more than 2.7 million American jobs – 2.1million of them in manufacturing – have been lost or eliminated since 2001 due to the U.S. mushrooming trade deficit with China.

“The news media should uncover for policy makers and the new 113th Congress the causes of the revenue shortage in the American economy arising from jobs lost to free trade deals,” added Gerard.

The USW is a North American union representing 850,000 workers in the manufacturing, mining, energy and service sectors. For more information:

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