US trade deficit dents manufacturing jobs
By Mike Verespej, Plastics News
Posted 5 September 2012
The continuing trade deficit in the US has cost the country up to 260,000 manufacturing jobs, according to the latest trade deficit report from the Manufacturers’ Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI).
“The $169bn (£106bn) three-year increase in the global US deficit...to a projected $495bn (£312bn) in 2012 has resulted in a trade-related loss of 700,000 to 1.4 million US manufacturing jobs, or almost 10% of total manufacturing employment since 2009,” said Ernest Preeg, senior advisor for international trade and finance at the Arlington, Virginia-based association.
That number includes estimated job losses in manufacturing during 2012 related to the trade deficit of anywhere from 130,000 to 260,000 posts, he said.
The latest trade deficit from the MAPI, released last week, said that the US global trade deficit in manufacturing rose by 7%, or by $15bn (£9.4bn), in the first half of 2012 compared with 2011, while the Chinese surplus soared by 24%, or by $67bn (£42bn).
Manufactured goods constitute the dominant sector of trade, accounting for about 95 percent of Chinese and about 75% of US merchandise exports, said the trade group, which contends that two-thirds of domestic civilian R&D and new patents derive from the manufacturing sector.
One positive sign in the trade numbers was that US manufactured exports increased by 9%, or $48bn (£30bn) in the first half compared, with 2011. Imports meanwhile rose by 8%, or $62bn (£39bn).
“The faster pace of export growth, however slight, is a welcome and positive sign,” Preeg said.
In contrast, Chinese manufactured exports in the first half of 2012 rose by 11%, or $80bn (£50bn), while its imports rose by only 2%, or $13bn (£8.2bn).
“The large increase in the Chinese surplus comes at the expense of growing deficits abroad, which are especially difficult to handle at this time,” said Preeg.
MAPI said that US manufactured imports from China are more than six times larger than US exports to China.
“The entire bilateral US deficit of $162bn (£102bn) equates to 71% of the $228bn (£144bn) global US deficit, and to almost half of the global Chinese surplus,” Preeg noted.
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