Study: U.S. risks losing 2.2M jobs in China trade dispute

By Ed Adamczyk
Truck drivers transport cargo containers for export in Yingkou, China, on July 18, 2018. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
Truck drivers transport cargo containers for export in Yingkou, China, on July 18, 2018. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Nearly a million American jobs are at risk in the U.S.-China trade dispute, and a million more could follow, new research said Friday.

The study by the Trade Partnership Consultancy says the tariff battle could cost the United States one million jobs -- with the figure ultimately rising to two million if President Donald Trump follows through on a threat of a 25 percent tax on all Chinese imports.


The Trade Partnership Consultancy report was commissioned by the pro-free trade group Tariffs Hurt the Heartland.

The research said about $250 billion worth of U.S. imports from China are subject to tariffs of either 10 percent or 25 percent. Unless negotiators reach a deal, goods in the higher tariff range will increase on March 2. Retaliatory tariffs from China, the European Union, Canada and Mexico are weakening the price and number of U.S. products sold to other countries. The tariffs also cause U.S. manufacturers to pay more for imported components, the group said.

"The imposition of tariffs by the United States and U.S. imports of steel, aluminum, motor vehicles and parts ... is a net loss for the U.S. economy and U.S. workers," the report states. "An examination of all the ways in which tariffs, accompanied by retaliation from U.S. trading partners, affects purchasing and hiring decisions demonstrates that, on balance, U.S. farmers, manufacturers, services providers and their workers experience greater losses than gains."


The research included four scenarios and their possible outcomes. The "base scenario," which calculates tariffs in place since Nov. 1 and additional 25 percent penalties predicts a net U.S. job loss of 934,700.

Other scenarios include retaliation from countries other than China. A combined scenario, which involves the highest tariffs rates and retaliation from all involved countries, could result in more than 2.2 million lost U.S. jobs.

U.S. jobs grew by more than 300,000 last month, leading some to conclude the risks are overstated. The White House announced Friday Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will lead the U.S. delegation to Beijing next week for trade talks between the United States and China. They will begin Feb. 14.

New Gallup research said Thursday 56 percent of Americans believe the domestic economy is slowing or in a recession or depression. Of that group, 39 percent said the economy is slowing and 17 percent said it's worse.

The negative assessment is not new. In December, prior to the government shutdown, Gallup said Americans who believe the economy's improving fell by 10 points from the month before.

Friday's poll questioned more than 1,000 adults in all 50 states and has a margin of error of four points.


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