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100 Million U.S. Workers Affected by American Trade Policies with China

I'm a political junkie. I watch the cable news channels every day, comb dozens of on line news sites, read the comments on stories, and talk politics every chance I get. Why don't I hear anybody talking about our trade agreements with China — The one thing that government really can fix to jump start our economy?

Have you heard anybody in Washington - a Congressman, a Senator, a Candidate, anybody in the Romney Camp or Obama White House - even suggest that maybe one of the big reasons we're in so much financial trouble is because we don't make any of the goods we all use? I haven't.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that just about everything we all buy week-in/week-out every month of the year, is made in China. It's our everyday stuff: TV's, Cell Phones, Computers, Monitors - nearly all of our electronics.

It is our clothing, our food and the ingredients in our pharmaceutical products, the toys we buy for our children and pets, just about all of our hardware and tools, construction materials, sporting equipment, footware... the list is as endless as the items we buy to maintain the lifestyle to which we are accustomed, regardless of economic status. Everybody in the country, all 300 + Million of us, must buy or use the products we need in order to function in society.

By The Numbers

Using our government's own trade statistics, a new report by the Economic Policy Institute1 shows that:

  • "Between 2001 and 2011, the trade deficit with China eliminated or displaced more than 2.7 million U.S. jobs, over 2.1 million of which (76.9 percent) were in manufacturing."

    The U.S. has lost manufacturing jobs to several cheap labor countries through our so-called "Free-Trade" agreements, but "[the jobs lost to China] account for more than half of all U.S. manufacturing jobs lost or displaced. . ."1,2 in that 10 year period (underline supplied by me).

  • We lost 692,000 of those jobs to China between 2008 and 20111,1,2 A period in which we have been desperate for jobs.

100 Million U.S. Workers Affected

According to the report, "The jobs impact of the China trade deficit is not restricted to job loss and displacement. Competition with China also has driven down wages for workers in U.S. manufacturing and reduced the wages and bargaining power of similar, non-college-educated workers throughout the economy who comprise roughly 70 percent of the workforce, or about 100 million workers."1,2

Why isn't anybody talking about this? Where are the media political wonks?

Who decided we didn't have to make all the stuff we use?

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Source: 1Economic Policy Institute"Economy Track, An Interactive Look At The U.S. Labor Market"
Source: 2ManufactureThis, Aug 24, 2012, "The Blog of The Alliance For American Manufacturing"

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